We moved towards a building at the back of Gaziel-san's manor..
It was an inconspicuous building, except for the fact, that I can feel a barrier around the site..
A very strong one, at that..
When we reached the door, I could sense a faint trace of magic power from Gaziel-san's hands..
What was strange, was the fact that he didn't do any chant at all..
The strange feeling came back again, telling me something, what is it..
"Alright, let's enter the training arena, Orion-dono?"
Gaziel-san's voice snapped me out of my daydreaming..
"Is something wrong?"
He asks worriedly..
"Ah, no, it's fine, it's nothing, let's go then.."
I say to tell them it's fine not to worry..
But, what was I thinking about again?
Well, it must have been nothing of importance, since I forgot it that easily..
We enter through the doorway, and find another door, with a lock on it..
"Now, to get to the training area, we need to go underground, so that you guys can go all out without a problem, is that okay with you?"
"It's no problem, please, by all means.."
Talking politely is somewhat tiring..
"Excellent, then, watch your step, the stairs might be slippery if you're not careful.."
I take his precaution with a grain of salt, because I thought about how an underground stairway could become slippery, which yielded no results, so I thought it was just a gesture..
How wrong was I to think that..
In my eagerness, I walked faster down the stairwell..
"Huh? What? Ehhhhhhhhhh...."
*Sound of bones breaking*
I suddenly found myself tumbling around, going faster and faster, till I was this close to vomiting..
The world went up-side down and right-side up, over and over again..
I swear I heard my muscles tearing, and my bones breaking..
But it hurt even more, since my [Regenerative Aura] activated midway, causing it to repair, then break, then repair again..
It was hell, I automatically regretted my decision..
What I meant was, how long were the stairs here!
It lasted for about a few minutes before I reached the ground..
Fortunately, I made it here faster than everyone else, so I got that going for me..
Who am I kidding, I should have listened to Gaziel-san..
I slowly stand up and stretch, dusting myself off..
When I find, something stuck on my clothes, a jelly-like substance..
It was then, that I heard footsteps from the stairs..
They seem to have caught up..
"Are you okay, Orion-dono!?"
"Ah, it's fine, I didn't get hurt.."
It's technically not a lie, since I've regenerated everything, but Gaziel-san still looks worried..
"Huh? How are you even fine, I know this may sound strange, but this is about ten floors underground, you know?"
"Is that so? I'm fine though, so don't worry about it.."
I have sweat running down my spine, thinking that if I didn't have this strong body and strange power, I would have died then and there, and it would only be called natural, even though it was stupid to die, slipping on the stairs..
Nevertheless, I use my best expression I've learned over the years in training with that overbearing Master of mine, the face I use in dire need, that's right, the [Poker Face]..
I made a nonchalant expression, telling them not to pry any further, I'm begging you here..
"(sigh) You really are strange, you know that?"
That's rude, Gaziel-san, it hurts my feelings a little bit, calling me strange, well, I don't care much about things that already happened, after all, since I can't do anything about it, but those words still hurt, only a little, though..
"Well, never mind that, let's get this over with already, what should I do?"
"Ah, yes, you're right, first of all, let's move to the center of the arena.."
He beckons to us, while moving to the direction of the arena..
We follow soon after, and reach a wide 200-meter area, the floor was made of stone, that seemed harder than the ones above ground, and the arena was shaped in a giant circle, with marked lines at its sides..
"Okay, now that we've arrived, let's begin, Orion-dono, Raizel, take your places on each side of the circle.."
"Let's do this.."
Me and Raizel-san confirm the instructions, and move towards the arena..
"Now, for the rules of the match.."
Gaziel-san gestures towards a weapon rack at the middle of the arena, which I didn't notice until now..
"Each of you, must only use one weapon from this selection, I've purchased these, from my travels, and you can pick from any of them to fight with, next, no spells, since it would disrupt the battle flow, and I know that Orion-dono is not the mage-type, just like Raizel, so there are no problems, yes?"
"Yes, it's fine.."
I reply to Gaziel-san, while Raizel-san just nods, affirming the fact that he understood what he said..
"Excellent, now for the final rule, the winner is determined, when the other is unable to fight, the weapons used are broken fully, that it will be rendered unusable, and if you get outside the 200-meter area of the circle, any questions?"
"None, I understand."
"Let's start already, I'm itching to fight, Gaziel! Ah.."
Raizel-san seems to have called Gaziel-san without any honorifics by mistake, and he looked quite scared..
While the other side, was Gaziel-san keeping a smiling demeanor, but was looking at Raizel-san like he was going to murder someone, and that that blunder was the last one he was going to make..
"Ah, I'm sorry, Ma-..I mean, Gaziel-sama, please, forgive me.."
He looked so apologetic..
"Ah, it's fine, I'll just punish you later, after all.."
The moment he heard that, his face went pale..
I don't know how he will get punished, but my thoughts are with you, Raizel-san..
"But you can worry about that later, for now, focus your attention on this fight, Raizel.."
He seemed to have snapped out of his despair-like face, and turns to me..
"Ah, that's right, let's give it our all, Orion!"
I can only put on a wry smile in front of Raizel-san who turned back to his passionate self in a second, calling me over- familiarly, well, I don't mind, though, let's focus on how I'm going to do this..
I look at the weapon rack, and there were various decorated weapons, as I was a humble guy, and the fact, that I didn't want to break any weapons, that looked like it costs a fortune, I picked the least flashy one, a long steel sword, without any frills and gems on the hilt, a normal sword, maybe used by a knight or a soldier..
When I look to my left, Raizel-san is putting on gloves?
No, those aren't gloves, they are what were called, as gauntlets..
Bright, golden gauntlets, adorned with sharpened thorns, at the place where the knuckles are supposed to be..
He was also putting on, shin guards, elbow guards, and other protective armor..
Me, well, I just took the sword, since I'm already, technically, wearing armor..
When we were done choosing our respective weapons, we took our respective positions at the center, and wait..
"Well then, are you both ready?"
Gaziel-san sees our affirmation, and signals the match to start..
While I was simultaneously deciding how to end this quickly, but I decided to let my opponent show me his moves first, since I didn't fight anyone yet, since coming to a human settlement, so I wanted a demonstration, for future reference..
With those words said, we moved..
But, I guess it was only me, that thought to let the opponent attack first, since when the fight started, Raizel-san automatically lunged at me, in a speed a regular human can't follow..
Of course, I moved in the opposite direction from the start, moving back, for about 10 meters..
The first one to attack was, of course, Raizel-san, he started by using his arms to punch towards my face, gathering the momentum of his sprint, I was surprised by his efficient use of his muscles and his knowledge of its capabilities..
But the first one, did not connect with its target, nor did the second, third, fourth, and so on..
Of course, I didn't just stand there, and take it head-on, I just dodged his straightforward punches, where I could read where he was going to hit next, easily, using the most minimal of movements needed, like moving my head to the side, or redirecting his blow with the sides of the blade, and twisting my body to avoid it..
I noticed he was also surprised that I dodged his attacks effortlessly, but as expected of a professional fighter, he didn't let it get to him, and continued punching, but now, using another style of hitting, which was feints..
I almost fell for it, the way he changed his straightforward blows, and turned it into something he could use against me, when I believed he was going for my arm, he really aimed for my abdomen, and because I was following his line of sight, I almost let him trick me into defending the wrong place, but as expected, my reflexes kicked in, which were forged completely by Master and his cruel training..
But I was still surprised on how he changed his fighting style, right after concluding that his last one, would not work, so quickly, mind you, in his case, he used his disadvantage, and turned it into an advantage, it made me wonder if all humans were this adaptable to circumstances, or Raizel-san was just this good at fighting..
Still, it's going to take more than that, to beat me, even in my sealed state..
To be honest, in my eyes, he was slow, well, I was using my enhanced senses, but still, I could read his next move before he even thought about it, at first glance, his movements looked really fast, and well trained, and his muscles looked like it was giving its utmost in fighting, but, I could sense something was off..
It was the way his body moves sometimes, like when he finishes a move, and I predict the next most efficient move he will take, and take measures in order to block it, he does the opposite instead, it's like he was not taking me seriously, or just, deliberately letting himself, be two steps behind me..
Nah, I'm just imagining it, there should be no way he would handicap himself, if he was this excited about fighting..
I put the strange thought out of my head, and get back into battle, since he is starting to try out new techniques..
When I look at him, he's not only using punches, feints and sidesteps..
He is now incorporating kicks into the equation..
Knee kicks, roundhouse kicks, low kicks, kicks to my sides, and high-jump kicks..
It was getting slightly harder to dodge, so I had decided to block some of them with my sword, redirecting the flow of the force of the blow, elsewhere..
When he saw that, he released a grin, saying as if, "I'm starting to get how to beat you!" or something like that..
But, I think this has gone long enough, I think I got what I needed for now, and this will satisfy Gaziel-san..
Humans are about this strong, so I put Raizel-san as a benchmark from now on..
Now, I feel bad for Raizel-san, who is happily throwing blows here and there towards me, without even one hit making it through, but I have to end it now, I guess 30% of my current power should do it?
I think conceitedly, but I swear, I am humble..
No, I only thought this overconfident estimation, because I experienced his strength firsthand, in no way am I underestimating him, I just realized that I was stronger than most people, that was all!
(sigh) Who am I even making excuses to..
Well, let's not mind it, and finish this..
I enhanced my legs with aura and tighten my muscles with it, making my feet lighter..
I guess you could call me, light on my feet? *chuckle* no? well okay..
While Raizel-san was enjoying himself, I move back a little, which made him surprised..
Then, I moved in an arc, appearing behind him, which made him confused..
But he then noticed me after he sensed my presence from his back..
But it's too late for that, I already started getting into stance and..
*BOOOOOM* *Crash* *Crack* *Crumble*
I let one foot balance my stature, and gathered power into the other, and then moved it towards Raizel-san's abdomen while he was turning around, simultaneously piercing the sword into his foot, to keep him in place..
It was one of the techniques I learned back when I was studying the art of "taekwondo", the "dollyo-chagi" or some might call it, a regular roundhouse kick with a 45 degree angle..
But it seems, I might have overdone it..
Well, due to the way Raizel-san flew towards the wall at the side, and broke part of it, which now has cracks, I guess piercing the sword on his foot, was pretty much useless..
Does he have low defensive power?
I thought idly escaping from the reality that I might have just killed a person..
I look towards the others and saw that Gaziel-san was dumbfounded, and my two disciples were elated..
Saying things like; "Impossible", "Good job, Onii!", and "I knew you could do it, Shishou!"..
Were the various reactions..
(sigh) This is troubling..
A few minutes later, were back in the manor, and I am now sitting face to face with the wry-smiling Gaziel-shi..
I decided to call him with -shi, in light of recent events..
"Well, am I in trouble?"
When he heard me speak, Gaziel-shi hurriedly snaps out of his thinking..
"Ah, no, it was a great spectacle to watch, but I would've preferred you to go easy on him, if you were actually that strong from the start, even though, I said to go all out, anyway, you have passed the interview with flying colors!"
I can't possibly tell him that I went easy on Raizel-san now..
Yosh, let's keep quiet about it!
"Ah, thank you so much, but how is Raizel-san doing right now?"
"Him? He is currently recovering from the fight, being healed by magic by my subordinates, so do not worry about it, in fact, I am sorry he couldn't even give you much of a fight at all.."
He looks mortified when he said it, was it really that big of a deal?
But I'm glad he didn't "accidentally" kick the bucket, because I didn't control my strength right, I would've really felt bad..
"No, no, it's fine, after all, Raizel-san was pretty strong!"
"I see, thank you for your words, well then, on to business, you are hired, and we shall discuss the rewards after, but expect it to be bigger than usual escort requests, so look forward to it.."
"Is that so.."
I could only say that in light of the fact that I didn't care much about the rewards, since I had no problem with money right now, and the only reason I took this request, was that I felt bad for taking all the subjugation requests..
But I couldn't say that out loud, so I let him continue..
"Now, were scheduled to leave in three days, and our destination is the city of "Capricorn", we are going there, so I can trade my goods and purchase from them, in turn, so you best get ready for the trip and bring supplies, since it will be a week-long travel by carriage.."
"I understand, we will come here three days later.."
"Ah, no, we will meet at the eastern gate, since it would be faster.."
"Okay, see you then, Gaziel-shi!"
I say as we walk outside the manor, walking towards the direction of the guild..
"Ah, looking forward to your service, Orion-dono....."
I could hear a slight change in Gaziel-shi's tone of voice at the very end, but, I concluded that it was just my ears playing tricks on me again..
I looked towards the setting sun in the west, while thinking that..
It's going to be dark soon, eh..
Since it was almost nighttime, I asked the two what they would like to eat for dinner..
I always look forward to seeing their smiles after I tell them that I'm going to cook this time..
A pleasant breeze blows through my hair, while I was talking with my disciples about food..
With a smile on my face, I walk together with them towards the "Adventurers' Guild"..
Chapter 027 - The Interview
We moved towards a building at the back of Gaziel-san's manor..