Black Cat Chapter 79: Duel

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 On that day, many spectators gathered at the training ground behind the guild.


 The main attraction was, of course, the duel between Bode and me.



 Behind the guild was a large open space where carriages could be driven in.


 In one corner, there was a place to sell orcs and other prey, while other areas were reserved for adventurers to train for combat.



 There was a place for physical training with wooden swords and staves, a shooting range-like area for archery and attack magic, and an arena surrounded by a small spectator area.


 It is in this arena that Bode and I will have our fight. 



 It is large enough to hold two basketball courts and is surrounded by four rows of spectator seating.


 The space between the arena and the bleachers is separated by a transparent board, like an ice hockey field.



 I heard that it was reinforced with a special magic circle, which gave it resistance to both physical and magic.


 I’ll find and copy the magic circle later, as it may further strengthen the full armor and weapons I make with my void attribute.



 In the audience were members of the Bored Men, adventurers who had been at the tavern last night, and others who had heard rumors about the event.


 Among them were members of Chariot, including a grim-faced Shure.



 They must have heard the news from Mr. Jill and rushed over.


 Laius looked the same as usual, but Serge and Gad looked a little sleepy.



 Shure is probably more unhappy because I stayed in Ms. Leila’s room for a couple of nights and didn’t get to enjoy me as a cuddle pillow, rather than because I decided to have a duel.


 She doesn’t seem to care about me winning or losing.



“Hmph, you came here and didn’t run away. I’ll give you credit for that.” (Bode)



 Bode looked down at me with a large, drawn sword on his shoulder.


 I would have been scared and run away before I learned the Staff Arts from Mr. Zeol, but now I don’t even feel afraid of him.



 No matter how much he wielded the great sword using Body Enhancement Magic, he should not be able to cut me if I held a thick [Shield] at an angle.


 If only to block him, Bode would not be able to do anything if he were confined in a small space surrounded by [Shield] on all sides.



 However, in this duel, Mr. Jill ordered me to win in a way that was as flashy and clear as possible.


 It would be difficult to say that it was a clear and flashy way to win without putting Bode’s life in danger.



 I can’t use [Death Choker] because it only needs a little mistake, and [Flame Lance] is too powerful.


 And restraints such as [Rubber Ring] aren’t flashy enough to look good. Just running around on [Step] forever, is not it.



 Well, I’ve come up with a few strategies, but I’m a little worried if I can proceed as I thought.


 Mr. Jill, the referee, showed up with Ms. Jessica, an employee of the guild.



“Bode, Nyango, are you ready?” (Jill)


“I’m always ready, but the pussycat only has a piece of stick.” (Bode)



 Against Bode’s greatsword, all I have is the staff I borrowed from the guild.



“This is enough against you.” (Nyango)


“You still have the gall to say that…” (Bode)



 Jill cut in before Bode even got to grab me.



“We’re not ready yet, don’t start on your own! This is not a match to the death, it’s just a duel between your skills. If you kill your opponent without following my instructions as the referee, you will never be able to register with the guild again. Jessica is a witness to the duel.” (Jill)


“That’s fine, but if he dies from a single blow, I can’t be held responsible.” (Bode)


“Well, in that case, I won’t complain, and I won’t even ask the guild to punish you.” (Jill)


“That’s fine, but you’re going to judge me fairly, right? You won’t judge in favor of the pussycat, right?” (Bode)



 Bode was probably worried that Mr. Jill, who is a close friend of mine, might judge the game in favor of his friend, but that comment seemed to have offended Mr. Jill.



“…you want something, brat. Are you trying to pick a fight with me too?” (Jill)


“No, no, I didn’t mean it that way…” (Bode)


“Then, shut your mouth.” (Jill)



 The usually smiling and happy Mr. Jill, with a deep crease between his eyebrows, said a few words that made Bode nod repeatedly in silence.



“I’ll explain the rules. You can use whatever weapons and magic you like. You win if one of you loses consciousness, admits defeat, or if I decide that further fighting is dangerous. When I say that’s it, sheathe your weapons. If you don’t, I’ll be your next opponent.” (Jill)



 Judging from Bode’s attitude, there must be a considerable gap in power between him and Mr. Jill.


 He may be smiling and acting all smug now, but he has no intention of going against Mr. Jill who is in serious mode.



 I suddenly realized that Ms. Jessica was staring at me with a frustrated look.


 She seemed to be blaming me for what was going on, but when I signaled with my chin that she should direct that responsibility to Mr. Jill, she sighed loudly and glared at Mr. Jill this time.



“There’s only one match. No matter who wins, there will be no hard feelings. With this many people watching, don’t fight like a useless bum!” (Bode)



 After Jill looked at Bode and looked back at me while giving a quick wink.


 Seriously, Ms. Jessica and Shure should give you a good squeeze later.



 No, perhaps that’s what Mr. Jill is after.


 Don’t tell me he’s a masochist and a tongue lashing is a reward?



“Okay, get into position, both of you.” (Jill)



 At Mr. Jill’s signal, I advance to the center of the arena and confront Bode at a distance of about 10 meters.



“Pussycat, I’ll cut you in half in an instant!” (Bode)


“You haven’t even touched me yet.” (Nyango)


“You’ve only got time to talk now…” (Bode)



 Bode held his greatsword in his lower right-hand and began to concentrate with his mouth in a straight line.


 It’s likely that he’s activating the Body Enhancement Magic.



 I’ve heard that Bode’s basic strategy is to scare targets with fire-attribute magic that relies on flashiness. Then take advantage of that opening to decide the match with a slash using Body Enhancement Magic.


 Whenever I have faced Bode in the past, I used [Shield] to keep him at bay, so this time he probably intends to use Body Enhancement Magic to force his way through.



“Start!” (Jill)


“Oraaaa!” (Bode)



 At the same time as Mr. Jill’s signal, Bode came charging at me with a shout, but I was ready for him.


 The moment Bode had closed the distance to half, I set three pillars of fire, 50 centimeters in diameter and over five meters high, blow up at a spot about three meters from me.



“Woah!” (Bode)



 Bode jumped back in a panic, his face nearly burned, but I let a new pillar of fire erupt from under his feet.



“Hot!” (Bode)



 Rolling over, he backed up further to avoid the pillar of fire, but Bode’s bangs seemed to have been scorched a bit.


 As Bode regained his stance, there was a roar from the audience.



“What the hell was that fire magic?” (Spectator)


“I’ve never seen anything like that before.” (Spectator)


“He’s a catkin, but he’s got some serious magic power.” (Spectator)



 The magic of the void attribute is based on the magic element contained in the air, so the power of my magic is not proportional to my own magic index.


 Even I, a catkin, can use powerful magic with a bang.



 The pillar of fire is a combination of fire and wind magic circles, and although it is not a big threat that has not been focused like [Flame Lance], it is still hot and scorching to the touch.


 Bode tried to approach me again using Body Enhancement Magic but I got him to run away by making a pillar of fire to drive him away.



“Damn, I didn’t hear you could use fire magic like this!” (Bode)



 Bode is screaming, but that’s none of my business.


 I’m sure he hasn’t heard how I was beaten by the three idiots who tried to ambush me in the alleyway either.



 It had been only about five minutes since the start, but Bode was dirty and scorched here and there from running and rolling around.


 I am not sure if they are aware of the fact that I am actually trying to keep the fire from hitting Bode.



“Shit, shit, that’s not my best… Prepare yourself, pussycat!” (Bode)



 Bode lunged at me for the fourth time, this time stepping through the pillar of fire, but I ducked with room to spare, and this time I sprayed him over the head using a water magic circle.


 I was being kind, putting out the fire just as he was about to burst into flames.



“You f*cking cat!” (Bode)



 In revenge for being soaking wet, he looked up at the sky and shouted at me. This time I rushed at Bode, who was now full of gaps.


 Of course, it’s my serious mode that also uses Body Enhancement Magic.



“Nah… Gufu, gah!” (Bode)



 I gave him a blow to the chest and a thrust to the throat, and Bode fell down, releasing his great sword and sprawled around with his throat clenched.



“Match end! Winner, Nyango!” (Jill)


“Yeah!” (Spectators)



 The crowd cheered as I raised my right hand, which held the staff, after hearing Mr. Jill’s claim of victory.


 Then, as I turned my back and walked away, Bode, who had been holding his throat and moaning, got up, grabbed his great sword, and lunged at me.



 Jessica, who had been jumping up and down and clapping with joy, gasped and froze.



“Dehm, faken caht… Bugyaaaa!” (Bode)



 As soon as he raised his greatsword against me, with a terrific “Kapow” sound, Bode was hit so hard that his face was deformed and he was blown away.


 It was a very powerful version of the rubber string I used against Miguel when he used to bully my brother.



 Even after my back was turned, I had been monitoring Bode’s movements by scattering particles for detection, and I was ready for a counterattack.


 Bode was blown to the ground and fell down, twitching.



 I had prepared what I thought was a non-lethal weapon, but it was a little too powerful.


 But he came at me with a large, drawn sword, ready to be hit by a counterattack, right?





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