“Martial arts performance? Hirano-san.”
“Yes. A mixed martial arts tournament without miracles.”
It was my job to explain. This was a business meeting. I had to make this work no matter what. Yoshinaga-san had wagered herself, and even invited the person who she disliked here to get my hands on this opportunity.
“The current reigning champion is Edward the <Left>. He is a record holder for consecutive defences. I’ve seen him in person and he’s terrifyingly strong.”
“Doesn’t he draw a certain number of customers if he’s that strong?”
Surprisingly, the bite TN: Like in fishing was good. I shouldn’t be fooled by her girlish appearance. It’s a given that these types of people are sensitive to the smell of money, but you shouldn’t suddenly talk about how to get rich quick with them.
“That’s the tricky part. Edward-kun is too strong. He has nothing to show off.”
“If he doesn’t have anything to show off then there’s no business. It’s all over too easily.”
“That’s the problem.”
“A get rich scheme with a problem is unacceptable.”
“So, I need your help.”
“I just run gambling dens. I don’t know if I have enough power to help you.”
She lazily evaded. She is indeed Yoshinaga-san’s rival. Gambling and entertainment go hand in hand. They are inseparable. There’s no way this <Goddess of Gambling> wasn’t involved in the entertainment business. I’ll have to trick her.
“I’ve heard that your place has accumulated excellent skills and management.”
“… I don’t exercise my power over that part of the organisation, but impressive; as expected of someone who is acquainted with the <Goddess of War>.”
Okay, I won’t deny it. I didn’t mention her ability to take control of the organisation on purpose. I also feel that it wasn’t a big deal that Yoshinaga-san tore apart a division.
“Well, whatever. My mood has been dampened. What exactly do you want from me?”
“I want you to promote the event and find challenges. And I need you to prepare and organise the day of the event.”
“You’re being too reckless, using a god as a messenger. I don’t get anything in return.”
“How about 70% of the profits?”
“You and the <Goddess of War> who is playing marbles with the Go stones over there, will get 30%? Isn’t that too good to be true?”
“I’m sure you have enough karma, but we’ll give you that karma as collateral.”
I pointed at the mount of karma that I had gotten from the three vs one player game. I’m sick of counting them.
“So, you and the <Goddess of War> are the investors and we are the actual promoters?”
“Yes. It’s not a bad deal. We will provide the capital and you run the actual operations and make a profit. It’s a sweet deal.”
Miss Malkund’s eyes narrowed.
It’s very intimidating when a beautiful woman makes an expression like that.
“I like it. I didn’t think I could have a business-like conversation since you’re linked to the <Goddess of War>.”
“Would you like to work for me? I’m willing to discuss the conditions of your employment.”
“No, I have Yoshinaga-san.”
“Yoshinaga-san, is it? Well, alright.”
I felt relieved. Since she has hostility towards Yoshinaga-san, I was able to surprise her and change her feelings towards this. I was lucky.
“I understand what you want. Shall I prepare a detailed document?”
“I would appreciate it if you did.”
We aren’t doing much anyway. I don’t care if they force an unreasonable condition or anything since it won’t hurt me in any way.
“By the way, now that we’re done with business, how do you propose to make up for the damage you have done to my gambling den?”
Dammit. I forgot. She only came here because the gambling den was being messed up. Whose fault is it? Mine.
The revolving lantern was turning at a tremendous speed. Being beaten to a pulp, being buried in concrete, being dumped in hell…
No! You can’t do that! I don’t want to die yet! Though, I guess I won’t die even if they only did that much.
“Fufu, you’re a funny one. Your face turned from blue to white.”
“Ah, no, hmm…”
Miss Malkund smiled sweetly. Her smile was even somewhat lewd despite her girlish appearance.
“You owe me. Not the <Goddess of War> but you. Yes, you owe me. You owe the <Goddess of Gambling> Christina von Malkund.”
What kind of nasty things will she make me do? I was horrified just imagining it.
“Then, let us meet again. You too, <Goddess of War>.”
With these words, Miss Malkund left the tatami room.
We’ve moved one step forward. But will we really find someone who can defeat Edward?
I ate an American hotdog. The taste of ketchup and mustard spread in my mouth along with a crispy texture. This kind of food tastes better when eaten in a slightly vulgar way.
On the day of the match, there were quite a few people gathered on the street near the arena where the event was to take place. Ad balloons were floating in the blue sky and food stalls lined the streets. Fireworks were also going off which made it somewhat exciting.
“It’s like a festival, isn’t it Yoshinaga-san?”
“I’m glad Malkund-san decided to help us.”
“It must be lucrative.”
“I’m sure she’ll make a fortune. She’s the <Goddess of Gambling>, so she would have made quite a bit.”
“She’s also charging the stalls for using the space. The <Goddess of Gambling> is formidable after all.”
Yoshinaga-san said a little unhappily while chomping on a strange candy called ‘Batometz Candy’.
Apparently, she didn’t like the fact that I ‘owed’ Miss Malkund.
Yoshinaga-san believed that we should have just let it slide. She doesn’t believe that what she did messed up the gambling den, but it’s hard to say.
Besides, it is actually selfish to owe a debt there.
Miss Malkund is a businesswoman who represents the Divine Realm. We have nothing to lose but a worthless Evil God.
It doesn’t matter if I ‘owe her a debt or a loan’, having a connection with her isn’t bad. She is a Goddess with a social standing. I assume that she’s participating in the conference from her actions and words. If she is, then it’s unlikely that she would ask me for something unreasonable since I’m a lower-ranked God.
It’s important to be remembered by the other person and the cost can be considered later. I feel like I won’t be able to do well in many ways in the future if I don’t use this kind of tactic.
It’s unlikely that I’ll be able to pay back 500 million karmas just by consolidating my position.
I must help Draco and pay back my debt at the same time.
I have a long way to go.
“Oh yeah, why are you and Malkund-san on such bad terms?”
“You’re getting straight to the point, aren’t you Master?”
“Really? I was just wondering.”
Yoshinaga-san crunched the Batometz Candy and sighed.
“We’re not on bad terms, but we have an inseparable bond. We debuted in the Divine Realm at almost the same time.”
That is absolutely a lie. Being in an inseparable bond wouldn’t produce such a dangerous aura.
“… I butted in because the rules she made for her organisation are a bit strict, but I’d say that our relationship is generally good.”
“Ah, I see. But I think she mentioned the conference.”
“I’ll talk to her about that when I get the chance. You’ll probably have to attend the conference in the future anyway.”
She evaded the topic. She averted her gaze for a bit, so she definitely did. Something must have happened at the conference. But I didn’t press her any further since I would probably put her in a bad mood if I asked more questions about this. I’m afraid of what will follow when she gets angry.
There was a huge line in front of the arena entrance.
The seats were sold out, so this line was for standing spectators. They weren’t allowed to enter the arena yet, so they were busy eating the food that they had brought at the stalls and exchanging information. Everyone had a bookmaker’s listing magazine in their hand. They were betting odds. Spectators place bets with bookmakers. Each bookmaker offers different ratios, and the spectator looks for the bookmaker with the best odds that match their prediction.
Some bookmakers are creative enough to combine the results of multiple fights into a single bundle, which was quite interesting.
Miss Malkund was able to make a successful event by combining multiple matches since it was difficult to make a show with only one match.
“Yoshinaga-san, is it profitable to be a bookmaker?”
“It can be lucrative if you do it right, but I don’t think that <Goddess of Gambling> would run something like a petty bookmaking house. I think she makes her money by selling the ‘right to operate bookmaking here’.”
“Ah, she still makes money no matter who wins?”
“Exactly. She calls herself the <Goddess of Gambling>, but she’s quite a solid person.”
So, smart people are different?
I have a feeling that most of the money that I worked hard to earn in my previous life was sucked up by some smart person. In the end, being reborn is still unfair.
“But the odds are staggering.”
Yoshinaga-san, who seemed to have somehow obtained a pamphlet produced by a bookmaker, was looking at the contents. It seemed that there would be interesting matches such as ‘Dragon God VS Wolf God!’ or ‘Monkey God vs Dog God!’ I have a feeling Gods around here are used to these kinds of events. It was a bit vexing.
“This bookie seems to think that Edward the <Left> has a significant advantage over his opponent.”
“Well, of course he would.”
Huge posters of the champion and challengers are posted at the front of the arena.
On the left is the champion, Edward the <Left> and the challenger the <Black Haired Princess>.
She was the Evil Goddess in charge of the <Northern Overlord>. There aren’t any problems with her strength.
The catchphrase ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was flamboyantly displayed, but since Edward is a stuffed animal, his finish was quite fancy despite his drive.
“Will she win?”
“We’ll just have to pray she will.”
The match was about to begin.
There is a saying that kendo is a threefold discipline. It means that an empty-handed martial artist needs three times the rank to fight against a swordsman who has a real sword or a wooden sword. So, the <Black Haired Princess> would have an advantage since she used a sky piercer, a long weapon, but no one really knows what the outcome will be.
Different situations call for different levels of strength.
Outdoors and indoors. One-on-one and melee. A match and an actual fight.
Just because you have a specialised weapon doesn’t mean that you will win unconditionally. She couldn’t let her guard down.
The <Black Haired Princess’s> drive was tremendous.
Miss Malkund was amazing for coming up with the catchphrase ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
She was indeed beautiful, dressed in a light pinkCherry blossom colour hakama with a tsuki and her black hair pulled up in a ponytail. The brutal appearance of the sky piercer in her hand also created a strange atmosphere.
The venue was packed.
I was sitting in a box seat with Yoshinaga-san, waiting for the match to start.
The challenger, the <Black Haired Princess> had already entered the pit, now all we had to do was wait for the champion.
Although she wasn’t doing a martial arts demonstration, the <Black Haired Princess> was swinging her sky piercer around as if to check her grip.
“It’s a great weapon.”
“It’s a weapon called a sky piercer. Lu Bu used it in the ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’. But it didn’t actually exist yet back then.”
“Hmm, is it easy to use?”
“It’s a difficult weapon to handle, but it’s very strong. It can do anything, thrust, slash and slice.”
The sky piercer was a strange weapon.
It has a strange shape.
It has a crescent-shaped horizontal blade on one side of the spear. It is a versatile weapon that can thrust, slash, and sweep. It is heavy. I don’t remember how heavy, but it is a two-handed weapon.
Anyone can wield it, but it takes a lot of practice to master it. It’s an interesting concept, but it’s at the top of the list for weapons that will never become popular. It is said that the last drop makes the cup run overA person can only take a certain amount of pain, heartache or trouble
The <Black Haired Princess is pretty special since she can wield it with ease.
“You know a lot about weird things, Master. I wonder if it will work on Edward the <Left>.”
“Edward should be fine if he doesn’t change his barehanded style. The long shaft is an overwhelming advantage by itself. The rules say that miracles are prohibited, but can she swing such a heavy weapon without any miracles?”
“The use of <Strengthening Muscles> is prohibited, but I think she’s strengthening her body itself.”
“But body modifications require a considerable amount of karma. Evil Gods can’t gather karma even if they gather faith, so it should be impossible for them to use it.”
“Then why is the <Black Haired Princess> able to?”
“Who knows. There might be a trick to it.”
A trick, you say?
I only have this much karma even though I can make a lot of money from betting Go.
So, the <Black Haired Princess> must have some source of income.
“If her body, itself, has been strengthened then the difference in physique is hardly a problem. Even if Edward the <Left> has an overwhelming difference in terms of physique, it won’t be much of an advantage.”
“Then, do you think the <Black Haired Princess> will win, Yoshinaga-san?”
“Who knows. But we need her to win.”
The Evil Goddess in charge of Draco’s enemy, the <Northern Overlord>.
I told Yoshinaga-san that I will eventually cross swords with her.
I don’t know if we will actually exchange blows on the battlefield, but this is a good opportunity for me to see my opponent’s hand.
“Now, I guess it’s time for the champion to make his appearance.”