Chapter 78: New Rules
The entire audience in the Colosseum was in an uproar. Three of the top four were vice-leaders of the Royal Armament Guild. This was enough to be a hot topic of discussion. Furthermore, there was a change in the rules.
Although this battle tournament was hosted by the Royal Armament Guild, the Colosseum is a part of the system. There were things that even the Royal Armament Guild couldn't alter. Changing the rules was one of those things.
Nonetheless, the system of Monster Soul provides players with a very high degree of freedom. There are exceptions in almost everything. The Royal Armament Guild was able to add the gambling house to the battle tournament thanks to this. This time, too, changing the rules was possible if the majority of the remaining participants gave consent.
Sila stared at the system window that suddenly appeared in front of him. It gave him detailed information about the changes in the rules. It was waiting for Sila to accept or decline the changes.
He looked at the current vote count.
Accepted 3 / Declined 0
"Well, I'll be a minority even if I decline," Sila said to himself while pressing the accept button.
The system window disappeared together with the announcement from the host.
"Finally, the time that everyone is waiting for has come! In the next five minutes, the next round of the battle tournament will begin. Please note that changes have been made to the rules with consent from all four combatants. The significant change is that, in the next round, the tournament style will be a round-robin in which each contestant will meet all other contestants in turn. This change is made because the host of the tournament realizes that there are less rounds in this month's battle tournament. With a round-robin style, spectators will be able to watch more battles. Moreover, in the next round, there will be no pet restriction. Combatants are free to utilize their pets. However, the rule to prevent the use of medicine-type items is still applied."
There was a commotion on the grandstand after the announcement. The round-robin style with three of the four combatants being from the same guild? Now, even a child would realize that the Royal Armament Guild was being unfair.
However, no one was voicing out their disagreement since most of them had placed their bets on the vice-leaders of the Royal Armament Guild. They were just praying that Sila didn't die too miserably.
"Bad, this is very bad. That guy is sure to die," Ratri said after listening to the new rules.
Varee frowned. Although she didn't like Ratri's statement, she couldn't deny it. The Sila that she knew didn't have the ability to win against a vice-leader of the Royal Armament Guild, not to mention winning against all three of them.
"I think there is still hope for Sila to win, though," said Lone Wolf.
"Is there? This is very unfair to us. It is three against one. As it is a round-robin tournament, if Big Brother Sila loses or ties with the opponent just once, he will lose the entire tournament, unlike the opposite party."
"Based on my discernment, Sila's current ability is less than Fargo's, close to Francine's, and a little stronger than Venom's. Firstly, Venom is not a pure fighter. Sila possesses Qi of Little Turtle, granting him a high resistance to poison, so it is likely that he will win. As for Francine, although her ability is superior to Sila's, the rule to permit the use of pets backfires on her. At least Sila has Mister Sebastian to help him. Anyway, I'm wondering how Mister Sebastian will be able to go to Sila's aid," Lone Wolf said.
Although they could see the match from the VIP room up above, the arena is considered a kind of special dimension that prevented the entry of outsiders during the match.
"Don't be worried, Mister Lone Wolf, I have a method to go to Mister Sila," Sebastian said while pointing to the brooch on his cloth. As the black color of the brooch is the same as his cloth, no one had noticed it until now. Looking closely, Burapha, Varee, Ratri, and Lone Wolf were all startled.
"That brooch… don't tell me Big Brother Sila gave it to you?" Burapha asked.
"That's correct, sir. Mister Sila gave it to me without hesitating and without asking me what it can do," Sebastian replied smilingly.
"What can it do, Sebby?" Bow asked.
"Nothing much, Lady Bow. It just grants me a little more freedom. At the very least, it grants me the ability to teleport to Mister Sila anywhere and anytime."
"Wha, that's good. Bow wants to go to Big Brother Sila too."
"Lady Bow, it is better for you to wait here. Leave the problems for me," Sebastian smiled.
Burapha was anxious. That brooch didn't only have that ability. It seemed he had to find some time to warn Sila about it.
The brooch on Sebastian's cloth had many names. Combat Butler's Brooch, Guardian Brooch, Monster Brooch, Life-Partner Brooch, and many more, depending on the type of a monster possessing it.
The monster that possesses the brooch is no longer considered as a mere pet. It cannot be sealed without its consent. It can release itself from the seal anytime it wants. It can instantly teleport to its master and can do many things more without having to ask for its master's permission. Anyway, all of those abilities of the brooch aren't as terrifying as the ability to freely choose its own master. If the monster wearing it wants to serve a new master, it can just kill the current master to set itself free. Usually, this brooch is an item that will only be given to a pet that the master shares a deep bond with.
No one in the right mind would give this brooch to a newly recruited pet, who even had a higher rank, like Sebastian. No one except Sila.
"What about Fargo, sir?" Sebastian asked Lone Wolf. He didn't have much information regarding humans.
"Oh, Fargo? Fargo is surely stronger than Sila. Moreover, unlike Venom and Francine, Fargo doesn't have to rely on petty tricks or pets. Just the word 'power' can be used to describe that man."
"But, Big Brother Sila is not weak. He has even won against dragons in a one-on-one fight," Bow argued.
Ratri said, "That's that and this is this. Even if he can solo a dragon, he might use tricks, traps, or good strategies to be able to raid it. However, Fargo is very strong. Just being prepared is not enough to defeat him."
Burapha argued, "Being prepared is a word that I can hardly link to Big Brother Sila. He isn't someone who plan things ahead. As far as I know, Big Brother Sila always adapts himself to the situation on the spot. I personally don't doubt that he has defeated Dorolia alone but I am curious about his method to do it."
"Fufu. Power isn't all you need to take down an opponent," said Poluk.
"But power is still necessary, isn't it? How can we win against a more powerful opponent otherwise?" Ratri argued.
"Being mighty doesn't mean being powerful. Being powerful doesn't mean being strong. Being strong also doesn't mean being a winner. In battles, there are many components to be considered," Poluk replied.
Lone Wolf listened to Poluk and nodded his head. Wisdom from Poluk was very useful to him.
"But if you possess enough strength, the tricks are no longer relevant. Just one punch of Fargo might be enough to take Sila's life," Ratri said.
"That's quite true, Big Brother Sila doesn't seem too proficient in defense. I have never witnessed him receiving an attack head-on. I'm worried about this. How will Big Brother Sila defend against a powerful blow?" Burapha added.
"Well, based on my experience fighting against him, Mister Sila is quite tough. He was hit by many of my spells but he still survived," Sebastian commented.
"That's because Big Brother Sila is a slime. We slimes aren't weak," Bow repeated.
Ratri's suspicions grew. This was her first time hearing someone stating that slimes aren't weak. The one claiming it was even a harmless-looking pink slime.
"Hey, I've always been curious for a long time. Why do many of you seem to place your faith in Sila this much?" asked Ratri.
"If Miss Ratri gets to know Big Brother Sila more than this, you will naturally know why."
"Because Big Brother Sila is Bow's Big Brother~"
"Because Mister Sila is my master, madam."
"Because of his behaviors, I guess?"
"Because he is a senseless guy."
"Because that kid has a spirit of a martial artist, I guess?"
The difference in opinions caused Ratri to wonder about Sila's true character. Based on what she had heard, Sila was a strong yet stubborn person. He was kind and loved to share things among his comrades while also being negligent in the way he handled many things. He seems to live in solitude but he has many friends. No one seemed to hate Sila. Anyway, Ratri couldn't see through Sila's character. It seemed she needed to personally meet him to grasp his disposition. For now, all she could do was watch his battle to confirm whether he was as skilled as she was told.
The battle would begin in the next moment. Sila was alone in a personal resting room. He was circulating qi while waiting for his upcoming battle. It seemed every combatant had their own personal room to stay in while waiting.
There was food on the table but Sila didn't dare to touch any. Putting poison in the food might seem old but better to be safe than sorry.
Then, the announcement could be heard in his room.
"Please be prepared. Player Sila will enter the arena in the next thirty seconds."
Sila stood up and double-checked the number of hidden weapons that he possessed. Finally, he was teleported into the arena.
"The first round of the finals is about to begin. The match in the first arena is between Player Sila and Berserk Warrior Fargo. As for the second arena, it is a match between Poison Master Venom and Monster Queen Francine."
The field of Sila's arena was simpler than he had expected. It was just a flat and circular arena with a radius of twenty meters. There was no way for any tricks to be involved.
Good grief, although no tricks were involved, the fighting experts like Poluk, Lone Wolf, and Noppakorn could easily recognize that this kind of arena forced Sila to fight against Fargo in a direct confrontation.
As far as one could see, Sila's ability mainly depended on his superior movement skill. Thus, with him having to fight in the narrow arena, he would be at a very big disadvantage against Fargo who was stronger.
Everyone who noticed this fact was worried for Sila. However, Sila himself wasn't worried at all.
He could say that he also like this type of arena. Before he had practiced Twelve Celestial-Travelling-Steps, dodging in a melee range using his keen sense had always been his strong point. Moreover, the narrower the distance, the more powerful his hidden weapons got.
Sila wasn't a foolish person. He might be ignorant toward the many pieces of advice he had received, but after the nameless elder had warned him, he no longer neglected the advice. Once he stepped into the match, he needed to know what he could do and what he couldn't do. The same thing applied to his fight against a dragon. He wouldn't complain whether his battlefield was advantageous or disadvantageous. We couldn't pick the battlefield that was most suitable for us so why bother being concerned about it?
If one always concerns about winning or losing, being advantageous or disadvantageous, being stronger or weaker, how can one be able to fight to the best of one's ability?
A short moment later, Fargo appeared in front of Sila. Fargo was a sturdy man with a savage face. He was significantly taller than Sila and wore brown short-sleeved wuxia clothes.
Once he appeared, he looked around the arena and then stared at Sila.
"I heard that you accepted the change of the rules." Fargo suddenly started a conversation.
Sila looked into Fargo's eyes and replied, "Yes, I did."
"Why? Don't you see that it is disadvantageous to you?"
"The majority of participants had already accepted anyway. It doesn't matter which one I choose, right?"
"That's right. But for me, it matters," Fargo said while sighing.
"How?" This time, it was Sila who was curious.
"When I heard about you from Cross, I thought that you must be a disgusting person. However, now that I have personally met you, I'm confident that Cross is tricking me." Fargo looked at the arena with a sad expression. "There is also this type of arena. Cross, you have changed too much. Prior to this, I didn't understand. But now I think I know why Shueria decided to quit the guild."
In the beginning, the Royal Armament Guild was personally founded by Cross, Shueria, and Fargo. Their original objective of the guild was to help new players have a more enjoyable time playing this game. However, as time passed, the objective of the guild had changed without Fargo realizing it. One of the main reasons why Shueria decided to quit the guild might be because he had lost to Sila, but it couldn't be denied that the bigger reason was the Royal Armament Guild itself.
"I have decided. Today, whether I win or lose this match, I will quit the Royal Armament Guild too. Killing you will be the last order that I accept from Cross. However, you don't need to fear that I will hold back against you. Since it is my last task, I need to do my best to successfully complete it."
Fargo's voice was filled with qi. His declaration resonated throughout the Colosseum, indicating that he would not take back his words. A commotion emerged. The audience just found out that Shueria had quit. This news was surprising enough by itself. However, after this match, Fargo would quit too. That meant two of the vice-leaders decided to quit the Royal Armament Guild when the war event was almost upon them. This was a big scoop.
"I don't like exploiting anyone. About this type of arena, I don't conspire against you. However, I can't deny that this arena is favorable for me. Thus, I will allow you to throw a full-force punch at me. I won't avoid it and won't reinforce my qi to resist it," Fargo resolutely said.
Poluk and Lone Wolf smiled at Fargo's sentence. Their nature was the same as Fargo's so they knew why Fargo was doing this. Fargo was a sincere person. Despite how he was forced to do some tasks by Cross, among the Royal Armament guild members, his reputation was quite good. His nature didn't allow him to betray his righteousness. Thus, he decided to let his opponent attack him once without any resistance to show his sincerity and that he didn't conspire against Sila.
Sila stared into Fargo's eyes. He stepped forward to reach so that he could throw a punch at Fargo. All of the spectators swallowed their saliva, waiting to witness the might of Sila's punch.
Contrary to their expectations, what really happened was that Sila lightly placed his hand on Fargo's body before pulling his hand back. Fargo was puzzled. What Sila did was just a light touch. There was even no qi fused in it. Fargo looked askance at Sila.
"I also don't like exploiting anyone. That one is counted as my one punch. We should start now."
Fargo stared at Sila before laughing, "Hahaha, this is gonna be fun. Well said. We better start now."
Both of them were close to each other with the distance less than even a meter. The qi releasing from both of them filled the entire arena. The spectators forgot how to breathe for a moment there. The fight could erupt at any time.
Beyond their expectation, Sila planned to clash against Fargo in a head-on battle. Power against power. No techniques. This fight would shake the world of Monster Soul.