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In the living room of the mansion where Bloed was staying.
Seven people were seated around a table, looking around with an awkward silence.
The reason for the awkward silence? The golden-haired fox girl drinking a cup of tea with an indifferent expression on her face.
Eve Moonglow, Moonlight Glow’s Saintess.
Watching the famous saintess drink tea with an expressionless look, Javelin could not help but look a Bloed with a questioning look.
“… Why is the saintess here?”
Bloed shrugged, unable to answer. He was wondering the same question.
Several hours had pa.s.sed since the conference finished.
Bloed and the girls plus Javelin, Illina, and Prince Calisto were seated around a table talking about several topics when Eve appeared.
She just knocked on the door and invited herself inside without explaining anything.
And well, it was not as though Bloed could be impolite and urge her to explain the reason she came. He was sure it was a good enough reason.
Anyway, the presence of Eve made the situation but awkward. Mainly because Javelin, Illina, and Prince Calisto seemed as though they were standing in thin ice.
Illina did not even dare to breathe too loud. The wolfkin girl was looking at the ground without raising her gaze.
As for Prince Calisto, Bloed was pretty sure he saw the young lionkin prince shivering in fear.
Noticing the strange situation, Eve expressionlessly looked at the three beastmen and nodded.
“Don’t worry about me. Just treat me like a normal girl.”
Javelin and the others forced a smile out.
… It was not easy to treat the foxkin princess famous for slaughtering thousands of people like a normal girl.
Gathering his courage, Prince Calisto raised his hand timidly.
“Ehh… S-Saintess? Is it true you like to drink blood instead of water?”
Bloed did not know whether to laugh or to cry. That story was obviously something made up to scare children.
And as he expected–
“Of course not. That is just a rumor…”
Prince Calisto sighed in relief.
“… Blood is better used to take baths. It helps to keep the skin young and elastic. That is my secret recipe.”
The other six people in the room stiffened.
Bloed was pretty sure it was a joke, but it was hard to say with Eve’s expressionless look.
In fact, Prince Calisto seemed as though he wanted to cry.
“… It’s a joke.” Eve finally said after several seconds with a very small smile.
Liu Ying smiled wryly and shook his head. “… Miss Eve, I think your joke scared the little prince.
“Is it so?” Eve tilted her head and stared at Calisto. “Why? Could it be he thinks I’ll use his blood to take a bath?”
Tears were already falling from the prince’s eyes. He grabbed Javelin’s shirt and hid behind him cowardly.
“… I’m joking.” Eve said again.
Bloed sighed. “Miss Eve, please stop scaring the prince. Anyway, what brings you here?”
“Hmm? Are we not friends. I thought I could come to visit you as a friend.”
“… You can.” Bloed smiled wryly. “But I’m sure you are here for a reason, right?”
Eve nodded. “The details of the compet.i.tion have been decided.” Eve then put the cup of tea on the table and stared at Bloed with a serious expression. “It will be a month later. Each country will send six B-Ranks to the mountains to partic.i.p.ate in a compet.i.tion for the mine.”
Bloed tilted his head confused. Although it’s true he was curious about that information, he did not think It was enough to make the saintess of Moonlight Glow visit him personally.
… Although thinking about it, taking into account Eve’s previous behavior, it’s not so strange.
Perhaps she just did it in a wink.
Unfortunately, that guess disappeared at the next second.
“I’m here to ask you if you want to partic.i.p.ate.”
Bloed, Regina, Liu Ying, and the others were stunned.
Seeing the confusion in their faces, Eve asked a question expressionlessly.
“Why do you think the Great Savannah’s king insisted on having six partic.i.p.ants in the compet.i.tion?”
Bloed furrowed his brows. That was something he did not understand even now.
He had thought of several possible reasons, but he could not find a satisfactory answer yet.
“It’s because a bigger number of partic.i.p.ants is advantageous for the beastmen,” Eve explained. “For this compet.i.tion, each country will surely send their strongest B-Rank pract.i.tioners. They will send the top geniuses of their respective countries and put them to compete against the geniuses of the beastmen.
“However, unlike the Sun Kingdom and the Boerner Elven Forest, The Great Savannah is a country of beastmen, and the beastmen race is very united race.
“While the Sun Kingdom and the Boerner Elven Forest can only select their contestant from the B-Ranks in their countries, the Great Savannah can and will receive the support of the other four beastmen countries plus Moonlight Glow. Thus, they will have five times more geniuses to choose from. Tell me, who has the advantage then?”
Bloed was slightly stunned. He was not expecting that.
“Can’t the Sun Kingdom and the Elves to do the same?”
Eve shook her head. “Besides the beastmen countries, no other country will risk their carefully cultivated talents to help another country. Of course, if the Sun Country or the Elves have enough time to prepare, they will surely be able to convince other countries to help them, but in just one month, they will be lucky if they manage to get one or two outstanding B-Ranks from other places.”
Bloed nodded. That explained why the lionkin king insisted on six B-Ranks per country.
But it didn’t explain why Eve asked Bloed if he wanted to partic.i.p.ate. After all, Bloed was not a beastmen.
Sensing Bloed’s confusion, Eve spoke up her reasons.
“King Arlen already sent a message to the other countries asking them to send their outstanding B-Ranks to the Great Savannah’s capital. One week before the compet.i.tion, the B-Ranks of the five beastmen countries plus Moonlight Glow will compete for a place in the six B-Ranks. You and miss Liu Ying are part of Moonlight Glow, so you are also qualified to partic.i.p.ate.”
“But we are not beastmen.” Liu Ying instinctively said.
Eve shrugged. “n.o.body said only beastmen are allowed to partic.i.p.ate from the beastmen country. In fact, although it’s unusual, there are humans natives to the beastmen countries as well. Plus, I heard Mr. Bloed has a way to disguise himself and others as beastmen, so even in the worst case, your race is not a problem.”
Bloed furrowed his brows and looked at Regina and Liu Ying. The valkyrie and the demon had similar expressions. Obviously, they were not sure about Eve’s proposal.
“I’m just a C-Rank. I don’t think I’m the best option to partic.i.p.ate.” Bloed could not help but say.
“… Mr. Bloed, I know that in Calice City, you fought against several Rank monsters and killed them. That is not something a normal C-Rank can do.”
“The circ.u.mstances were a bit special back then. That is not something I can do every time I want.”
“I know,” Eve said. “But even so, your strength makes you unrivaled in the C-Rank, and even some B-Rank pract.i.tioners are not your match. Once you breakthrough to the B-Rank you will surely be one of the strongest B-Ranks in the continent.”
“… Exactly. Once I breakthrough. But even I’m not sure how long that is going to take.”
Eve nodded in understanding. But then, she took a small box from her storage ring and pa.s.sed it to Bloed.
“What is it?” Bloed asked curiously.
Eve smiled slightly, finally changing her expressionless look.
“Your breakthrough to B-Rank.”
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