James and Jess were up again on the evening of the second day. James had tried to get his original sword back, but the smith told him that it would probably take until after the tournament to repair. The warrior gladly kept the better substitute for the third round.
They had watched the second round and as they had suspected, there were less than 150 people who made it to the third round. Their chances to get into the top50 were good. Maybe they could aim even higher?
These notions quickly ended with the start of the third round. The first monsters they faced were two trolls and they could barely put up a fight against the two creatures with brute strength and even stronger healing factor.
In the end, they only won because Jess could span fire spells onto the creatures and inflict burn. As if to make fun of their suffering, the monsters that appeared next were Ogres. Two of them.
The beasts standing over 3 meters in height wielded almost as long clubs, fashioned from small, uprooted trees. Their stench immediately filled the field and made the mage girl gag. Even James grimaced.
They were huge, had high defense, tremendous strength, and a terrifying stench. Fighting these giants took their all, but in the end, they had to give up on the fight and flee the field.
Now it came down to how everyone else would fare during the third day. Their spirits were down. The only silver streak was that they were among the last people to fight in this group. Maybe they could still get in the top50.
They were about to leave when a figure in a black suit and a silver lion mask stepped in their way.
”Hello, I am a scout from Minas Mar. Would you guys please accompany me? There is someone who wants to meet you. ”
So they were right! These were the people of Minas Mar. Jess and James had somewhat given up on actually being scouted and had put their hopes on the prizes. Encountering this chance made their hearts race.
They eagerly followed the lion-masked person to a private booth where they met… the blacksmith? James realized that they probably were just supposed to give back the borrowed sword. He took out the sheathed sword from his inventory.
”Oh. Oh, I guess we misunderstood. Here is the sword we burrowed. Can I collect my sword after the tournament? ”
”Pff! Hahaha! ” the blacksmith laughed. Even the scout behind them snickered. Jess gave him a harsh elbow check to the ribs. ”What are you doing? Look at the situation. ”
The blacksmith was wearing a tailored suit and leisurely sat on the luxurious couch with a glass of alcohol in his hand.
”I am Seth, the Tower Master of Minas Mar. I asked you to come here to talk with you about becoming part of the Oathguard. ”
”The Tower Master is a blacksmith? ” James blurted and got another painful poke from his partner.
”We can really become part of this Oathguad? ”
”And we each get a full suit of epic-rated equipment? ”
”More or less, yes. We lack epic robes for casters at the moment. I still have to talk with Neeco Boos about this. ” Seth admitted a little embarrassed.
”But he will get a full suit of epic armor? ”
”Yes, and you will get at least accessories and a leather armor for the meantime. ”
”Deal. ” Jess decided for the two of them.
”Great. But are you sure? Do you want some more days to think about it, or should we finalize it immediately? ”
”Immediately! ” the woman said decisively. Mary brought the magic contracts. Jess signed immediately and then bullied James into it.
”Here are your rings. When the tournament is over, visit the system church and teleport to Minas Mar. Then you will get your equipment and a place to stay. ”
The two looked a little perplexed but took the two silver rings with big eyes.
~Are you sure about those two? ~
”You saw him still trying to return the sword. I really like them. ”
~The great me doesn ’t. They are too generic to hang out with us. ~
~ It is I, fudg- Puffles the Great. I have awoken. ~
”Does that mean you are finally done? ”
~No. I still need some time, but I am conscious. ~
A heavyweight fell off Seth ’s heart. He had often thought of Puffles during the last months. He wouldn ’t admit that he missed the caterpillar but he did miss him. Just what would Puffles look like when he could finally come out?
”Is it really Puffles? ” Mina asked later that evening.
”Yeah, he didn ’t stop talking ever since he woke up. ”
”I ’m glad for you. ” She said with a smile.
Seth had spent a lot of time getting Puffles up to date on what happened lately before the Ivicer had finally fallen silent again. The caterpillar got really hyped about getting to watch the rest of the tournament.
On the other hand, Puffles had told him about the changes in him. He had now reached the adult phase of an Ivicer. This meant he would only grow from now on, but not pupate anymore. This meant that Seth did not have to fear the caterpillar suddenly closing up.
And Puffles could now produce a new thread. Seth was excited to see what it could do. Puffles waking up was the best message in the last three months. Except maybe the cloak he got from Nädel and being able to keep the stuff from his class quest.
He slept well tonight.
The third and final day of the first part of the tournament. After the third round, there were only 32 participants left. Nobody got past the 4th round. The creatures appearing in the 4th round were Ice Trolls, Woodland Giants, and a Drake.
All of them were monsters that were hard to face even to people around lv.40. Although there were monsters ”prepared ” up to level 40, thanks to the kind of monsters prepared nobody got past these at lv 33.
At the end of the day, Jess and James got lucky. On top of being scouted for the Oathguard, they also got 47th place and a coupon for the Turquoise Anvil.
Not only that, most of the participants of the tournament were nameless adventurers. They had gotten a stage to show their worth. Especially the top10 gained a lot of fame and popularity in Delta.
The third round ended in a big award ceremony where the top25 got their prizes. Everything else was done behind the scenes. Like Jess and James, various participants had been approached by the Lords of Minas Mar wearing the Masks Seth and Cerberus had whipped up in the days leading up to the event.
’s mask, they were made from
It was mostly Cerberus playing a big part in mass-producing these masks. Seth chose those with passable effects and refined them. The only feature all of them had in common was a durability of 5000 and their feature to interact with the rings.
”With this end the first part of Delta ’s great tournament! But don ’t forget, tomorrow start the PVP-Tournament. We have a lot of well-known names among the participants for tomorrow.
You can look forward to the Master of the Volcano Guild, Marcel, the terrifying Ice Queen of the Mountain Guild, Elza, and many others. Even the self-proclaimed Adventurer King has registered! Will he be able to prove his claims in the next three days? ”
As candidates for the top50 and members of the Oathguard in name, Jess and James could enjoy the third and 4th round as VIP-audience in the private booth they had visited the other day.
”Didn ’t we meet the Adventurer King on the first day? What did he do here if he take part in the PVP Tournament? ” Jess muttered to James.
It was Mary that leaned forward and answered her question with a mysterious smile.
”I ’m sorry that you had to endure his presence. We had to allow him to participate because it became a public event. Instead, we… pulled a few little pranks on him. Hohoho. ” she snickered with her hand covering her mouth.
The two made a mental note not to offend anyone. Especially not the Administration. Mary had explained to them the structure of Minas Mar. It came as a surprise that they were able to technically talk to some of the highest members of their guild on their first day.
It was intimidating at first but it was also a chance. They were joining right after the foundation of Minas Mar. They had the chance to become friendly with the big decision-makers. It was the chance to not just stay a foot soldier in a big organization but also gain a higher position as it grew.
After the third day ended the two returned home. It was a small flat at the outskirts if Delta. It was not nice or cozy, but cheap. They spent a lot of time in the dungeons, so they didn ’t need anything better.
They stuffed all their luggage into their inventory. They had all the time to ask questions to the members of the lords and knew what to do. They came to the Church and asked for a priest called Simon. Soon a voluminous and grumpy priest with a big white beard appeared from the staircase.
”Really… I know I offered it but… why are all of them asking for me personally. ” he kept muttering to himself under heavy panting.
”Is it you two? New members of the Oathguard? Follow me. ”
They followed the priest into a big room with a formation on the ground. Simon looked into his inventory for a moment before he retrieved the formation permit.
”Here, with this, you can enter and leave this room whenever you want. You can also ask a staff member to lead you to this room. I fathom you know how to get to Minas Mar? Yes? Good. Farwell then. ”
He left the two alone and returned to whatever the duty of a system priest was. The two equipped the rings they were given and stepped into the teleportation formation.
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