Chapter 95 – The Cosmos Arena (6)
[Translator – jhei]
[Proofreader – yukitokata]
Seeing that they poorly concealed their presence, Jin knew they weren’t trained assassins. Additionally, their breaths were hoarse, which meant that they were very nervous.
They would still be able to deal with Dante, who was exhausted to death.
But they weren’t enough to take care of Jin.
‘I don’t need to fight them in such a cramped space. I don’t want to contaminate my living space with bloodstains.’
Jin intentionally stomped towards the cell door, and the assassins stopped in place. Before his enemies could exchange signals…
"This isn’t Paul Mick’s room."
Jin shot out like a bullet towards the cell door and slashed the assassins near the hallway wall. He didn’t want to send them back with only severed fingers or hands.
He had already done that on the first day to warn the rest of the attackers.
The next time someone came to his room, they would not be losing a body part, but their life.
Hearing the swing of a sword, the man behind the victim screamed instinctively.
As Jin predicted, there were a total of five enemies. And since one just died, they were now down to four. Amongst them, none saw how the first one died.
After his battles with Alisa, Jin’s swordsmanship improved significantly.
His second strike exactly pierced the target’s heart. The other three ran in simultaneously, but their movements were stiff due to nervousness.
Coating the blade with venom didn’t matter if the sword didn’t hit anything. Jin easily dodged each poison-gleaming blade and continued to attack.
"W-We are not here to attack you!"
"I know. You came to kill Paul Mick. But since you came to my room, it’s the end for you."
Every time Bradamante’s blade danced through air, blood flew and splattered. People in adjacent rooms stuck out their heads to watch the spectacle. However, they immediately returned to hiding, afraid that they would be associated with the fight.
As Jin tried to clean up the rest of the assassins, something shining at the edge of the hallway caught the corner of his eye.
He heard the pull of a bow string and soon realized that the glimmer came from the light hitting an arrowhead.
‘They even prepared a ranged attacker? Or maybe… these guys were bait to begin with, and they planned to shoot Dante when he comes out?’
He barely deflected the arrow. If he hadn’t caught sight of the glimmer earlier, he would’ve gotten injured.
Subsequently, more arrows flew. It looked like they prepared at least ten archers.
However, Jin had expected this much, so he used a corpse as a meat shield.
Thud, thud-thud, thud!
As the arrows pierced through the corpse, Jin could see the arrowhead covered in yellow poison.
At this point, he was furious.
Although they weren’t his mortal enemies, he really wanted to know why they were going so far to get rid of some kids.
‘I know that this contest is all about dirty, underhanded tricks, but this is too much. And these guys are too organized despite being average contenders.’
He threw the corpse away and ran towards the archers, jumping from wall to wall.
He planned on leaving one alive for questioning. With what intention did they attack? And who ordered them to do this?
Just as the first five had poor swordsmanship, the archers didn’t have great aim.
Things would have been different if Jin moved in a straight line, but instead, his sporadic movements prevented them from hitting him.
‘I need to wrap it up ASAP. Someone might attack Dante while I’m not in my room.’
As he quickly closed the gap, his sword began to glow.
Some of them began to run away, and Jin let them.
He personally wanted to chase and execute them, but Dante’s safety was his priority. Jin could kill them anytime, but getting the Hairan Clan’s prospective successor indebted to him was a rare opportunity.
Heads fell to the ground. He didn’t even need ten seconds to kill three of the four who didn’t escape.
Instead of attacking with his sword, Jin threw his fist at the last archer, rendering him unconscious. Soon after, he dragged his newly acquired hostage back to his room.
The spectators who watched from their rooms didn’t even make a sound.
"Phew. Hey. Wake up."
Slap! Slap! Slap!
As soon as he returned to his room, Jin slapped the hostage awake. Meanwhile, Dante was still fast asleep.
"Alright, starting now, I’m going to ask you something, and you’ll have to answer every time. If you answer to my satisfaction, I will send you back. If not, I’ll send you to the sky. And if you don’t answer within three seconds, you’ll also go to the sky. Understood?"
"First, who are you guys?"
"P-Pirates. I-I’ll explain more! Please lower your sword. We’re One-Eyed Joe’s underlings. He’s the winner of last year’s arena rumble."
"Second, why are you going after Paul Mick? In such an organized way too."
"Captain Joe… said that Paul Mick was an important figure in a big clan, so he told us to capture him."
"Did he say which clan?"
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"He said that it was probably R-Runcandel…"
Jin instinctively grinned.
‘You do this shit despite thinking that he’s a Runcandel? Well, they say that ignorance is courage when combined with confidence.’
"Why are your arrowheads poisoned, then? He asked for a hostage, not a corpse."
"We have an antidote."
"Then, third. Where is Joe? Is he also in the arena?"
"No, he came as a spectator this year, and he only ordered us to capture Paul Mick."
Dante entered this competition in Jin’s past life as well.
And that time, he became these guys’ hostage. The Hairan Clan were able to retrieve Dante after giving them an inconceivable amount of money and solemnly swearing that they wouldn’t take revenge.
Like a butterfly effect, the Hairan Clan faced internal failure and many consequences.
Jin didn’t know much about the backstory of the clan’s internal failures due to its secrecy, but he knew that he had just changed history just by saving Dante.
‘Hm… Just as this guy said, Dante was kidnapped last time. Then these pirate fuckers held him hostage and took a big bite out of the Hairans.’
Even if they were a renowned clan, if an important figure were to get caught, the clan could only be dragged along. Especially when the hostage was their next patriarch.
‘Of course, if it were the Runcandel Clan, they would just tell the pirates to kill the hostage and would proceed to slaughter the kidnappers, their families, acquaintances, and even unrelated individuals. Everyone would die…’
That was the Runcandel method. Strikingly different from other big clans.
"Alright, perfect. I like it. I’ll spare you."
"Instead, leave two fingers here."
"Just as I said. Leave two fingers here. If not, leave your head here."
Losing one’s fingers was better than getting beheaded.
Ultimately, the pirate trudged back to his room after blowing off some information and leaving some of his fingers in Jin’s room.
The young Runcandel sat back down and waited for Dante to wake up.
* * *
Translator – jhei
* * *
Dante woke up after seventeen hours, around dinner time.
And as soon as he awoke, Jin explained everything that happened since he passed out.
He went on about how much he did to keep Dante’s ass alive, and how he captured one guy and found out about One-Eyed Joe as well as his gang of pirate gangsters.
"So they mistook me for a Runcandel and tried to capture me… That One-Eyed Joe guy is definitely crazy. I find all of this absurd—laughable. A Runcandel? Absurd!"
He let out a deep laugh and shook his head. Seeing Jin’s soulless eyes, Dante continued.
"Ah, since you are my savior, I must explain. As they suspected, I am a noble. Although I’m not a Runcandel… I’m a little embarrassed to tell you my clan’s name. Will you understand if I just say that I’m a noble from the Vermont Empire?"
Dante thought that Jin’s attitude would change if he revealed that he was a Hairan.
While traveling with an alias, whenever his status got revealed, he had often seen his friends suddenly act like servants.
Noticing Dante’s intention, Jin cleared his throat and contained his laughter.
‘Well, I don’t need to tell him that I’m Jin Runcandel. He’ll find out soon enough. And Beradin’s fat mouth will blabber about it anyway.’
"Ehem! I understand. Everyone has that moment when they want to conceal themselves."
"I appreciate it. Anyways, I’m very thankful that I came to you. If I kept fighting them, I wouldn’t be able to fend them off for so long… I don’t know how to repay this debt."
Saying this, Dante’s eyes were filled with genuine gratitude.
"You probably do not understand the great feat you have accomplished… A knight like you doesn’t seem to want capital. I cannot express my gratitude with one great sword or anything material!"
"No, it’s not much."
Inside, Jin felt good. He certainly knew that he successfully planted indebtedness inside Dante.
‘Yes, yes. I don’t need a sword or money. I like the guilty, indebted heart that you have towards me.’
Dante concluded his thoughts and turned towards Jin.
"The best way is to offer my life to you. From now on, whenever you are in danger, whenever you need me, I will fight by your side with my life. I swear by my name."
"Hmm, do whatever you want. Anyways, as we promised, I’m gonna sleep, so just protect me well. Wake me up when group 13 starts."
"Understood! Ah, and me protecting you right now is unrelated to my solemn swear."
Jin instantly fell asleep just like Dante did in the morning.
And as he stared at Jin who slept soundly, Dante thought to himself.
‘Now that I think about it, I don’t even know this guy’s name. I hope we meet in the finals… Whatever the result, there is much to tell my parents.’
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