Sunday, September 25, 2016

In That Moment of Suffering Chapter 47 – Senna’s Betting Stand



Chapter up~

Chapter 47 – Senna’s Betting Stand

The Royal Family spent some time catching up with Iris and filling her in on everything that’s changed while she was ill. After an hour of discussion, King Victor brings up his plan. “Girls, when you find a chance, ask Senna about what type of man she likes.”

“Man?” Princess Liliana tilts her head.

“If we find Senna a good husband, then we can make her stay here.” Queen Helen calmly explains.

“Really?! Okay! I’ll go ask!” Princess Liliana jumps out of her chair, but Irene deftly scoops her up before she can leave. “Wah! Irene!”

“Princess, there is a right time and place for everything. It would be best to leave it to Princess Iris to find the best time to ask Senna.” Irene calmly scolds Liliana.

“Boo…Okay…” Liliana reluctantly replies as Irene plants her back down on the ground.

“Then Iris… Iris, are you okay?” Queen Helen focuses on Iris, but her words stop when she sees Iris’ poor complexion. She grips Iris’ hand fearing for a relapse of Iris’ illnesses.

“…Y-Y-Yes… I’m o-o-okay… I just feel a bit tired.” Iris retracts her hand giving an unconvincing reply. In truth, she doesn’t know why she feels so terrible. The second her father mentioned a husband for Senna, a painful throb passed through her chest. Her mind went completely blank imagining such a scenario. She didn’t recover until her mother snapped her out of it. Logically, a political marriage isn’t out of the ordinary considering her position. Before she became ill, she was to be married to a duke’s son to have someone succeed the throne. However, the plans went awry when it seemed like she had no chance of being able to produce an heir. A political marriage between some man and Senna should be logical, but the same pain runs through her chest at the thought of it. She can only say she really…doesn’t like the idea.

Senna came back shortly afterwards and carried Iris back to her room. They spent some time working on Iris' strength control issues. Senna offered her hand while Iris squeezed it with all her might. Due to the difference in level and status, Iris could only leave a light imprint on Senna's skin. Starting from Iris’ full strength down to the strength of a normal person, Iris gradually learned how to control her newfound strength. Needless to say, Iris greatly enjoyed the close contact with Senna and barely suppressed her blush from spreading across her face.

After the practice, Iris quickly fell asleep exhausted from her long evening.

***

The next morning, a small commotion occurs in the guild as Senna makes her second appearance. Senna arrives alone while Mika continues to fly around and explore the area. The receptionist Elle immediately recognizes Senna from her distinctive white hair. "AHHHHHH!!!! You're finally here!!!!!"

The black haired receptionist vaults over the counter and charges at Senna. Senna stands there with a simple smile. She extends her arm out in front of her holding a stack of papers. Elle brakes in front of Senna warily looking at the stack of papers. "What's this?"

"I had time during my other job and prepared a written report." Senna replies. She requested some books and studied the local language in Erein. After learning the local alphabet, she read a number of books to absorb the language's grammar. Senna drew up an in-depth report that she cleared with Sebastian, who also worked as the King's advisor. "This should help with any questions the Guildmaster has. I have a free schedule today, so I can stay here and answer any questions she has."

"...I'll read it and present a report to the Guildmaster." Elle replies grudgingly.

Senna nods. "Then you should find a private room since there's private information...about recent events in the Royal Castle there." She leans in and whispers the last portion into Elle's ear.

Elle's ear twitches at the close contact, but her face blanches hearing Senna's last phrase. "...You..." Her gaze bounces between the report and Senna's face.

"Of course I got their approval before writing anything, but it's not the type of information that should spread to the public… For various reasons~" Senna replies without changing her expression.

"Fine. I'll present this report to the Guildmaster. You're not allowed to leave the building, Understand?!" Elle retorts with annoyance. As a receptionist, Elle should be maintaining a calm and smiling appearance as she speaks to other adventurers, but it always seems to shatter in front of Senna. Elle keeps falling into Senna's pace instead of the other way around causing her to feel extremely annoyed.

"Okay~" Senna waves as Elle ascends to the second floor. She walks over to the job board and starts browsing the available jobs starting from the F rank missions. {There's a lot of names I've never seen. I'll have to research them later. Maybe I'll put in my own requests for unique herbs~}

When Senna finishes looking through the D rank missions, a muscular adventurer stands in her way. “Hey beautiful. How about the two of us get some dinner?” Senna blinks without an immediate response. She turns around looking back and forth at who the guy is talking to, so she can get out of their way. “Oi. I’m talking to you!” The adventurer starts to get annoyed with the lack of response and points at her.

“Me?” Senna points to herself tilting her head.

“Yeah! You!” The muscular man points at her.

“I see…Sorry, not interested.” Senna instantly replies and walks around him. {I always forget people think I’m beautiful with my clothes on.} She inwardly laughs at how quickly a man’s behavior can flip.

Unfortunately, the man moves in front of her again cutting off her path. “Don’t say that. Let’s have some fun together.” His face has a lewd smile as he reaches out his hand to grab her shoulder.

Before Senna can intercept his hand, someone else grips his approaching hand. “Trash! What are you doing harassing a newbie like that?!” Another male adventurer scolds the muscular man.

“Back off! I saw her first! And don’t call me by my first name!” Trash retorts.

“You…” The other adventurer grips his sword in annoyance.

From the second Trash appeared, Senna was mentally debating whether to toss the guy out of the guild hall. His obscene desires spilled out of his body leaving little to question about his intentions. However, she didn’t want to immediately cause problems for the Royal Family by picking fights with random idiots. Plus, there's no real benefit to beating him up. His level was too low, only around level 25. If she actually used a serious attack, then he would die instantly causing more problems than it was worth. In addition, it wouldn't help alleviate any stress at all by holding back against such a weak punching bag.

As she was sighing, the second adventurer, apparently named Greg, intervened forcing her to quickly make a decision. His appearance reminded her of everyone else in the Guild watching them, including many 'interested' men. A plot quickly formed in her head to exploit the situation before her while her name and reputation were still relatively unknown.

"If you want my time, you have to prove you're worth it. In exchange... if you beat me, then dinner and even whatever afterwards is totally fine with me." Senna interjects with a mocking tone.

"Oi! What are you saying?!" Greg retorts.

"Hehe. Now we're talking. Then let's go to the training field and compete then." Trash grins broadly, the lewd expression on his face grows even larger.

"Like I said. You're not worth my time. Let's just compete quickly in a contest of strength at a free table over there." Senna response makes Trash’s grin widen even further, while the other man pales at her reckless demeanor. The spectators whisper shaking their head at the overconfident young lady. "In exchange, you need to be prepared to pay if you lose." She directly reveals her Guild card to them.

The eyes of both men bulge seeing the black color of Senna's Guild Card. "A-A-A-A rank..." Trash barely squeezes out his words as he takes a step back. A collective gasp is heard from the spectators as they take in the sight of her card. The higher ranked adventurers look at her wondering what Senna is trying to accomplish. Revealing the card earlier would have cleaned up the situation without needing to speak of any competition. If she had started their match, then she obviously would have won without any trouble. However, revealing both cancelled out their purpose…unless she was just a ditzy noble that bought her rank.

"Of course, if you renege on your end of the exchange, then I'll be sure to punish you." Senna gives a dark smile as several white ice forms around her condensing into ten ice spears. The visual impact of the unchanted spell surprises everyone, but they quickly notice an oddity. Despite visually confirming the ice spells, there are no traces of magic emanating from the ice spears. There is no characteristic chill known for any ice spells either waning the spectator’s sense of danger.

Even the non-magic class adventurers understand that the only way for this situation to occur is either if it's completely fake or she's contained the spell to the point that no magic seeps out. Only Master class magicians have shown such a high level of control. Yet Senna looks far too young to be a Master class magician, so they unconsciously decide that she's putting up a show. Senna's clothes only serve to cement that theory in their minds. Dressed in a casual one piece dress without a single weapon or armor seen on her body, it's hard to take such a weak looking young lady seriously.

"Sure. I'll take that bet." The lewd smile returns to Trash's face.

"Then let's go over there." Senna points to a free table. The spectators quickly surround the table filled with curiosity and some sympathy for Senna. "Then let's have an arm wrestling match. If you win, I'll do whatever you want for an evening. If I win, you have to give up some information."

"Hey! Just what are you doing?!" Someone yells. When they turn to look, they see Elle descending from the second floor. She dashes over to Senna and gives her a crisp smack on the head. "You're an A rank adventurer, almost an S rank! What are you doing cheating the lower rank?! And you girls, why didn't you break this up?!" She turns and scolds the other two receptionists still at the counter. The two of them didn't leave their position, but one of them had hopped onto a chair to watch the exchange.

Senna smiles unfazed. "I did not cheat anyone. I properly revealed my rank and he accepted after seeing it. The people watching are proof." They unconsciously nod after being addressed.

"Grr...Just come up to the Guildmaster's office." Elle grits her teeth grabbing Senna's arm.

"Is she done reading?" Senna asks calmly.

"...No, but you need to explain the report." Elle bitterly answers.

"Then it's better to wait for her to calmly read everything and get some time to sort out her thoughts. The situation is pretty complicated after all. If you insist on interfering, then act as a judge for the match." Senna retorts.

"...Fine!" Elle grits her teeth, but is unable to properly scold Senna. Senna hasn't left the hall as promised and cooperating properly making it hard for Elle to find any faults with Senna's words.

Senna nods and turns to Trash. "Then any problems with the stakes?"

"What's arm wrestling? And what kind of information do you want?" Trash answers with a serious expression. Despite his insincere intentions, he properly thinks about the details for the match.

"You don't know?" Senna asks with some surprise. Not only him, but many of the spectators shake their heads. "Then I'll explain that next. As for the information, I'm new to the city, so information about the area or even recommended shops is fine with me. But the information has to be satisfactory. If it's fake or insignificant information, then I'll keep pressing you for some proper information."

"Oi! What kind of stakes are those?!" Greg interferes again. "Don't you get it?! You'll have to sleep with him if you lose!!"

Senna shrugs before flashing a confident smile. "It's completely fair in my eyes. Plus if he can get it up, then I don't mind... Plus it's not like I'm going to lose."

"Youu..." Greg shakes his head feeling like she's a lost cause.

"If you want to compete after he loses, then you're free to." Senna offers ignoring his sympathy.

"There's no way I'll lose to someone as weak as you." Trash stands up feeling insulted.

"Then do you accept the stakes?" Senna smiles without minding the attitude.

"Ahh. I accept." He replies confidently.

"Then for how to play. Extend your weapon arm out like this." Senna extends her right arm out placing her elbow on the table. He sneers and extends his arm out matching her. Senna locks her petite hand with his and continues to explain. "Then on the judge's signal, we'll use our strength to force the opponent's hand to touch the table like this. You win if the back of the hand hits the table." Senna slowly pushes the man's hand until it touches the table. "Got it?"

"Hah! Easy!" His smile broadens at the favorable rules.

"Okay. Then the rules.
1.      This is a one on one match.
2.      The elbow must touch the table during the match. The match doesn't count if it's lifted from the table.
3.      Hands must remain locked during the match.
4.      You can't smash the table.
Got it?" Senna rattles off some bare bone rules for the match.

"Fine. Let's get started." Trash can no longer hold back his impatience. He wants to quickly beat Senna and ravish her. But first, he wants to see her vainly struggle against his robust strength. He imagines her being much more compliant after demonstrating the overwhelming difference in power.

"Okay. Let's start." Senna looks to Elle for the signal.

"You...are you really going through with this?" Elle asks Senna with some annoyance.

"Yes~" Senna gives a simple smile.

"Fine. Ready... Start!" Elle raises her hand giving them the signal. Just as the word 'Start' leaves her mouth, they hear a dull thud. Stunned silence permeates through the room at the unexpected result. Senna's hand pins down her opponent's hand making it a clear victory. She reacted immediately after the signal and overpowered him before he had a chance to apply his strength and resist Senna. "Senna victory..." Elle declares thankful that this idiotic match is finally over.

"Wait! That wasn't fair! I demand a rematch!!!" Trash stands up looming over Senna.

"No. You lose. Pay up. Besides, I promised this man the next round." Senna scoffs at his tantrum pointing to Greg.

"You!!! I'M GOING TO KI..." Trash stretches out his hands wanting to choke her. Before he can fully extend his arms, Senna forms four <Ice Shots> in the form of a hammer and attack his elbows and knees. The crisp sound of bone breaking resonates through the nearby spectator making them strongly wince. One more ice hammer forms slamming into the man's chest. It impacts his chest and knocks him into the air. The spectators are barely able to get out of the way as he shoots by them slamming into the wall of the Guild hall.

Many of the spectators gulp at the direct strike. Elle turns her gaze from the spectacle glaring at Senna. "He's not dead. I held back. I plan on healing him later, so it's not like he's crippled. I'll fix the wall too, so don't worry." Senna flicks her hand and the wall pops outward spitting Trash out of the wall. The wood makes a cracking noise as it suddenly repairs itself leaving no trace of the previous damage. "There. Fixed." Elle clicks her tongue, but doesn't say anything further.

"Hey! What's going on down here?!" The Guildmaster yells bursting out of her office. She looks around and sees the unconscious man. Her eyes narrow as she looks at everyone else in the room. "What happened?" Everyone's sight homes in on Senna.

"We had a bet. I won. He attacked instead of fulfilling his part of the bet. I beat him up. I'll fix him before I leave." Senna replies simply.

"Youu...Are you really not trying to cause trouble with the Guild?" The Guildmaster holds her head at Senna's response.

"No. I'm just making use of the situation." Senna smiles.

"Fine." The Guildmaster sighs. She walks over to Elle and asks for the entire story. She nods hearing about the bet. "Let's see what happens then." She decides to observe the proceedings without interfering.

Senna looks at Greg. "Well will you challenge me now?" He takes a step back and looks at Trash. Senna speaks up first sensing that he has the wrong idea. "If you give some information you find useful, then I won't do anything. If you break the rules you, yourself agree to, then of course I'll beat you up." Senna sticks out her tongue. "You should decide quickly. There are some guys mixed in that still want to try and beat me."

The man looks around and sees several eager men waiting for a chance to jump in. "...Fine." He sits down and offers his hand.

At Elle's signal, the two start the arm wrestling match. Senna and Greg immediately end in a deadlock, unlike the instantaneous win in the first match. Both of them have a strained expression as they try and force the other's arm to the respective direction. Senna's arm gains some ground tilting to her left before the guy exerts some more strength and reverses the situation tilting in his direction. They struggle back and forth for a bit of time before Senna ends up pressing his hand down winning the match. He tries offering some information about a restaurant he frequents, and Senna happily thanks him. During that time, the spectators begin to talk.

“Oi, what happened there?”

“Yeah. She won so easily the first time.”

“It’s cause she reacted fast enough in the first match that she beat him. This time she didn’t move fast enough. She just got lucky.”

“That must be it!”

“That’s it! I’m joining it.”

The crowd starts to get excited at the thought of ordering an A rank mage around and eagerly decide to participate. Senna offers another match, which one man quickly volunteers for. The match ends in the same result with their arm wavering back and forth fighting for victory. The spectators notice Senna's face tinge red during the last portion of the match. Some of the men decide to try and quickly join in to take advantage of the situation.

In the fifth match, Senna's expression darkens. Shortly after the beginning of the match, the man in front of her used both hands in an attempt to overpower Senna. Naturally, this generates some displeasure from the spectators.

“Oi! What are you doing cheating like that?!”

“Can you get any more shameless?!”

“Scum.”

“Stop.” Senna declares firmly.

"What? It’s not like I broke any rules? You never said to only use one hand." The man scoffs sneering at Senna.

“Liar!”

“There’s a thing called common sense!”

"I don’t care about that.” Senna firmly declares. “Like you said, I never made it a rule. But it looks like you’re planning on break a different rule I clearly stated. If you want to break a clear rule, then I'm not going to give any mercy."

"What rule?" The man frowns and firmly refutes any cheating.

"This is a one on one match." She points at the table before pointing behind her. "If your friend with the red hair, brown cape, and red armor interferes using magic, then it's breaking the rules. Once he helps, then I'll sever that arm right off your body."

The spectators behind Senna look around for the person she described. The first person to spot the described person unconsciously takes a step back. Like a wave, the spectators part revealing the man Senna described. His face is extremely pale at being singled out. The spectators begin to whisper wondering if he was actually going to help cheat.

The man facing Senna is equally pale. He trembles as he opens his mouth planning to deny Senna's accusation. Senna cuts him off speaking first. "Don't lie now. I can tell." Under Senna's stern glare, he slams the table as he stands. "Hey, pay up if you forfeit." She comments as he turns to leave. He mumbles about some flowers near the mountain range before running off. His friend does the same escaping from the Guild hall. Senna doesn't pursue their cheating, but the audience's gaze hardens as their frantic escape confirms Senna's accusation.

"Anyone else want to go next?" Senna offers.

Another man steps forward, but the Guildmaster's voice interrupts him. "Elle, you go next. I will judge."

"Eh?... EHHH?!?!" Elle turns around and looks at the Guildmaster. Her eyes widen as she unconsciously cries out. The Guildmaster whispers something to Elle. Elle has an uneasy expression, but reluctantly nods. "...Fine..."

Elle sits down in front of Senna and offers her hand. "Relax~ It's all in good fun." The Guildmaster signals the start of the match, but it quickly takes an odd turn. Elle exerts no effort and only has her hand grip Senna’s hand. Her arm sits idly on the table, but Senna's arm mirrors her. Both of them sit in a relaxed position as if the match has yet to start.

The spectators start to murmur asking 'What's happening?' The two sit idle for a good 30 seconds before Senna blandly moves her arm and wins the match. The Guildmaster declares Senna's victory, but the questions continue to bog the audience's mind.

Senna has a wry smile on her face. "You spoiled things a lot sooner than I thought."

"The Guild can only let your game go on for so long." The Guildmaster replies. "Those 30 seconds are meant to be a handicap to draw more people for your scam."

"Now that's not true. I did not scam anyone. Everything I've said has been the truth." Senna firmly refutes.

"Considering you're a pseudo S rank, you don't consider it a scam." The Guildmaster scoffs.

"Because it's not official. You said it yourself. I clearly revealed my Guild card, which showed my current rank. Minus the first idiot, I gave everyone a fair chance to try and beat me despite the difference in strength. If someone did beat me, then I would obediently oblige with whatever request they asked." Senna continues.

"Fine." The Guildmaster sits down offers her arm. "Based on your rules, magic is allowed?"

"Yes. Support magic is totally fine." Senna smiles.

"Hmph. Then don't regret it. And I don't want any of that handicap, battle seriously." The Guildmaster's arm becomes enhanced by strengthening magic causing her to give of a far more imposing presence.

A few of the male mages cry out realizing that they had the chance to participate in the match. One of the men that lost clicks his tongue realizing that he wasted a good chance at victory.

Senna remains unfazed as they begin the match. However, the match quickly runs into a hitch as the table crumbles under the full force of their contact. Senna snaps her fingers reverting the table back to its original state with <Time Magic>. After moving the table out of the way, she creates a new platform out of dense stone. "Let's try again then." The Guildmaster agrees without complaint.

After the match restarts, everyone's eyes nearly pop out seeing the initial clash. A small sonic boom erupts as the two clash. Senna's raw strength gradually overpowers the Guildmaster's magically strengthened arm. The match proceeds with Senna continuing to suppress the Guildmaster and reaching the last few centimeters before pinning her opponent.

The Guildmaster's brow furrows as her fighting spirit ignites. She channels more magic into her arm increasing her power. Her strength jumps another 30% as she retaliates against Senna. Her arm quickly returns to the halfway point and begins suppressing Senna. Senna tries to fight back, but her raw strength loses out to the Guildmaster's magically enhanced arm. Senna only clicks her tongue seeing her arm futilely resisting as her arm is pinned to the table.

"It's the Guildmaster's victory." Elle calmly declares.

The Guildmaster flexes her hand and looks at Senna with a resentful gaze. "You let me win."

Senna shakes her head. "What are you saying? I went full force and lost."

"You never used magic." The Guildmaster replies narrowing her gaze.

"Ahhh......" Senna scratches the back of her head awkwardly laughing. "Sorry. I set that as a handicap for myself before I started all this and forgot."

"That's crap!" The Guildmaster slams the stone table creating a small crater. "I asked about it right before the match. How could you forget about it that easily?" Senna sighs and shrugs her shoulders. She also shuts her eyes indicating that she won't say anything further. The Guildmaster grits her teeth at Senna's uncooperative behavior. "Follow me."

"Okay. Sorry everyone, but the game ends here." Senna gives a parting smile as she follows the Guildmaster upstairs. Most of the spectators give a dry laugh. No sane person would blindly challenge her with a strength rivaling the Guildmaster. Not to mention that she showed herself off as a mage and didn’t break a sweat competing in raw strength. Thankfully she only demanded a bit of information instead of their valuables.

***

Several hours from Erein, a group of black winged individuals land in the clearing of a dense forest. If anyone was around, they would immediately identify them as demons from their dark skin and horns protruding from the sides of their skull.

"Finally! That damn girl has stopped moving about!" The lead demon grumbles looking at the tracking device in his hand. "Oi! Hurry up and let's get started with the plan!"

14 of the 15 demons accompanying the leader nod and start cutting down the nearby trees widening the clearing. The remaining demon approaches the leader. "Sir, are you sure we need to go this far? Couldn't we just directly attack her?"

"Hah! Attacking blindly without any information is asking for death. This is someone that Master is eyeing. There is no way we can recklessly charge in without any information." The leader scoffs. "We'll only confront her after making ample preparations. After that, there will be nothing to worry about." He broadly grins as he looks in the direction of Erein.

"Yes sir!" The other demon salutes and falls back.


Author’s Note
I totally stressed myself out getting this chapter out. XD  No chapter next week I need a break after this one.

The majority of this chapter is a bit of a whimsical chapter of mine. I just felt like doing something with arm wrestling instead of a match. Sadly, I found out I really don’t know how to describe an arm wrestling match as it goes on, so this one is a bit lower quality than others in my eyes. I didn’t want to scrap it since I spent quite a bit of time writing it. Thankfully the arm wrestling thing is just a one time thing.

I already have most of the next chapter planned and just need to work on it. After the planning, I realized I should be slipping in some kind of fight between Senna and the Guildmaster as part of her Rank evaluation and because it’s been a while since Senna really fought. I’ve turned over the idea quite a bit, but the idea keeps crashing and burning abruptly. So I’m going to stick to what I have planned instead of forcing it. The fights will just have to wait for now, so sorry about that.

Also, I need a bit of help with something for the next chapter.

Any ideas what a high ranking church official would use to address an angel? The only thing coming to me is ‘Your Holiness’, which kind of seems off for me to use. :/  And no other good ideas are coming to me.


4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the chapter! Got confused at whether it was Elle or the Guildmaster who armwrestled her, then realized I somehow missed a few paragraphs... lol

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    1. Lol! Thanks for reading!
      And yeah. Elle went first and threw the match. The Guildmaster went full power after.

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  2. The first 1/4 of the chapter really fits the title, but the arm wrestling didn't really feel like the sort of biding for a wife that I imagined even if it was closer to the date for a night charity bidding thing that you see in real life some places.

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    Replies
    1. Lol! I chose a really random title this time around. That and the whole chapter had a really odd basis.
      Thanks for reading!

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