Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear - Chapter 417
Bear-san, A Wild Bear (Horse) Appeared!
The next day, Toya said he’s going to go to blacksmith Xelo-san’s place to challenge the test, so we decided to follow along with him.
[You don’t have to come with me.] Toya
Toya, who was walking at the front, looked back.
[I’m bored.] Yuna
[I’m bored.] Mel
[I’ll go wherever Yuna-oneesan goes.] Fina
[Wherever Yuna-san goes…] Ruimin
[I’m the party leader, you know.] Jade
Well, after all, we’re all just spectators with time to kill. Besides, I’m supposed to be leaving soon, so I want to soothe my worries.
Toya let out a small sigh at our words and kept walking, seemingly giving up.
Our group arrived at Xelo-san’s blacksmith shop early in the morning.
[There you are.] Xelo
[I’m here to take the test.] Toya
Toya has three chances to pass the test. If he can cut the iron sword made by Xelo-san’s son with his mithril sword at least one out of the three chances, he will pass. I don’t know if that’s a sweet or a hard line to pass. If it were baseball, he must be a first-class batter, but I don’t know.
[So, you think you can do it now?] Xelo
[Take a look at this.] Toya
Toya took out his sword that he slashed and the red horn of a Big Boar.
I’ve heard that he can successfully slash a sword once every few times. The question is how high is the success rate.
[There was a bit of a rumor going around about a group of Big Boars, was it you?] Xelo
[Who knows…] Toya
[Liar, it was Yuna who worked hard.] Senia
Toya’s words were immediately destroyed by Senia-san.
[Hey, I did my best too. I killed two of them.] Toya
[Yesterday, I heard him say he attacked it from behind while it was distracted by Yuna.] Senia
[Well, that’s…] Toya
[Swaying Bear helped you with the other one.] Senia
[Yuna took out the rest of the Big Boars.] Senia
[…But I indeed cut the red horn of the Big Boar.] Toya
Toya sticks out the red horn of the Big Boar to Senia-san.
[Yuna cut three.] Senia
Toya drops his shoulders at Senia-san’s words.
[Look, I don’t have time for any of this. Are you going to do it or not?] Xelo
[Of course, I’m gonna do it.] Toya
Toya begins to prepare…
……And the results of the test.
[Wait a minute. Something is wrong.] Toya
He failed the test three times in a row.
[Let me try one more time, just one more time. Yeah, I’m sure the blade was chipped.] Toya
[Life is a beautiful thing.] Mel
[Toya. You took care of that yourself yesterday, didn’t you?] Jade
Jade-san, who’s Toya’s roommate, ascertained.
[Old man Xelo, please. Give him one more chance.] Jade
Toya clasped his hands together and asked Xelo-san for a chance.
[All right. One time only.] Xelo
Xelo-san agreed as if he had no choice.
And the result is a fail for the fourth time as well.
Then Toya redoes many times. And on the tenth time he succeeded, so he was able to pass the test.
You’re accepting this?
The success rate is somewhere around: 30% per 3 minutes and 10% per 3 minutes. Even in a baseball game, there is a heaven and earth difference between a 10% batter and a 30% batter. 10% will never make it to the first-class team.*
[I’ll give you a pass for that Big Boar’s red horn. Jade, take good care of this guy.] Xelo
[Yeah, understood.] Jade
Apparently, Toya got spared by the Big Boar’s red horns and Jade-san’s presence.
Then, Xelo-san called out to Jade-san again.
[Jade, are you physically conditioned? If you’re ready, we’re going to the Gate of Trials. I have to make a sword for him afterwards, so I want to finish early. You guys won’t be in the city for too long after all.] Xelo
Oh right, come to think of it, they were asked by a merchant in the royal capital to come here to buy something.
[It’s okay, we still have some time. We’re going to work here at the Adventurer’s Guild until the sword is ready.] Jade
[Still, the sooner the better.] Xelo
It seems that they are now going to challenge the Gate of Trials, so we decide to follow along with them. Well, I’m curious to see if the trials are going well.
And so, here we are at the infamous long flight of stairs.
[Spare me from this long staircase.] Mel
[Yeah, whoever built the Gate of Trials on top of this is an idiot.] Senia
Mel-san and Senia-san looked up the stairs exasperated.
Well, it seems there were some problems with the terrain and all, so I guess it can’t be helped. Though I agree that it’s a hassle.
[You can rest at the inn, Toya. I know you’re still in pain.] Mel
[It’s okay, I’m not that badly hurt. Why do you have to worry about me? I’ve passed the test after all.] Toya
[Because somebody exaggerated a bonus round, you extra.**] Senia
Apparently, if Toya passed Xelo-san’s test, Jade-san told Xelo-san that he will take the trials.
[What kind of selfish promises are you making?] Toya
[Sorry. I was just hoping Toya would pass the test.] Jade
[Well, if Toya could make ten out of ten, I’d even bow down myself.] Mel
If he’s that good, that is.
[But it’s just one.] Senia
[Don’t say just one. Success is a success.] Toya
[But when you’re fighting a monster, you don’t get ten chances. It’ll take you down before that happens.] Mel
[And if we have that kind of chance, then so do they.] Senia
It’s not a turn-based game, so it’s hard to say. But if you’re equal in power, you’re not the only one who has a chance. If you are a lower-ranked player, it might be your turn every time. If you are equal in strength, or if your opponent is better, your opponent has more chances to attack you. More chances mean more danger.
So when you have a chance to attack, you have to take it as soon as possible. If you don’t take your chances quick enough, you put not only yourself but also your friends in danger.
We climbed up a long flight of stairs and came to a building, housing the Gate of trials.
Adventurers and blacksmiths are crowding the place. It seems that the second day has arrived without incident. With this, I should no longer be responsible.
But I still have to say. I can’t watch the trials, so I’m only one of the crowd.
Well, it seems they don’t like to climb long stairs, do they? If I didn’t have my bear equipment, I definitely would not want to climb it either. In the first place, my physical strength would not allow me to climb without my bear equipment. I wish they would install escalators, elevators, or cable cars.
[I’m off then.] Jade
[Don’t come back anytime soon.] Toya
At Toya’s words, Jade-san replied, <Yeah> and walked into the building with Xelo-san.
[Yeah, I wish I could have tried it too.] Toya
[If we look for an apprentice blacksmith, would you do it?] Mel
Well, Toya is also a C-ranked adventurer, after all.
[I can’t do that.] Toya
[You don’t want to use a weapon made by an apprentice blacksmith?] Mel
[If I use it, I will exert more power than the sword is capable of. That wouldn’t be good for the apprentice blacksmith.] Toya
Where do you come up with such bullsh*t?
But that’s just like him. Perhaps this undaunted attitude is one of Toya’s strong points.
While I’m listening to Toya and the others having a silly conversation, Jade-san comes back.
[Jade, how did it go?] Mel
[……Oh, well, I, I mean, what the hell? In its own way.] Jade
He was stuttering. Maybe it didn’t go well?
And when Jade-san came to me, he put his hand on my head for some reason.
[How’d it go, old man Xelo?] Toya
[Hmm, this year’s trial was different than usual. Guildmaster was holding his head every time an opponent came out.] Xelo
Since they couldn’t talk about the contents, they answered vaguely.
I wonder what happened. I’m really curious about it.
Xelo-san and I went through the gate of trial with Gilmas and went down the stairs. I had challenged the Gate of Trials only once before. Nothing has changed since then.
As we descend the stairs, we can see a magic circle at the center, and by thrusting my weapon into it, the trial begins.
When I stabbed Xelo-san’s sword into the magic circle, the magic circle glowed and the soil in front of it rose up. And what appeared was a figure of a large bear. The bear was sitting down and it looks like it won’t resist.
Why a bear though?
Xelo-san is expressionless and Guildmaster is letting out a deep sigh.
Do I have to slay this bear that’s sitting there and not resisting?
It’s just a lump of dirt, I know, a statue hardened by magic. This is a trial, one that tests the sharpness of the sword and the skill of the wielder.
I approached the bear statue and put all my strength into the handle of the sword that I’m gripping. Then, I swung my sword down at the bear statue, which was hardened by magic power. The bear’s body was slashed diagonally from the right shoulder.
The bear statue crumbled and the first trial was over.
I feel a tremendous sense of guilt. I feel like I’ve cut something that I shouldn’t have. I keep telling myself that this is a trial.
Then the next trial begins…
For the second trial, many small bears appeared. I know it’s a test to see if you can accurately slash a moving object, but…
My mind is in turmoil. I may or may not be able to cut these bears. The last time I did this, it was wolves. But why is it bears now?!
I’m out of breath from cutting down all the bear cubs.
It feels like I’ve become the bad guy. It’s like I’m being forced to do something bad myself, and even though I know it’s not wrong, I feel guilty for doing it. Such a feeling shakes me to the core.
This may be one of the trials, but it’s the worst one. And I don’t want to do it again if I can help it.
The third trial is a big bear. I feel as if I’m facing Yuna’s bear. I try to calm myself down. Why does it have to be this way? Maybe it’s reading my mind and pitting me against her bears.
If a violent wild bear appears, will I be able to slay it? I’ll have to harden my heart to fight the bear.
I’m mentally exhausted and the tip of my sword got dull, but somehow I manage to complete the third trial.
I silently wished in my heart. Please, don’t let it be another bear.
I thought my wish was granted, but it was rejected.
The opponent in the fourth trial was a girl dressed as a bear. That’s definitely Yuna dressed as a bear. What? Why would Yuna show up here?
Maybe it was created by the jealousy I had for Yuna in my heart. I lowered my sword and announced to Xelo-san that I am aborting the trial. Xelo-san replied with a single word, <Understood>. I stabbed my sword into the magic circle. Then the trial is now over.
[Xelo’s adventurer. Do you know the girl dressed as a bear?] Guildmaster
As I sheathe my sword, Guildmaster spoke to me.
[Yeah, I know her.] Jade
From the way Guildmaster was talking, it seemed that Guildmaster knew about Yuna.
[Is that why you quit?] Guildmaster
[That’s part of it, but maybe I was simply afraid to fight her, even though I know that one just now was fake. She’s strong. If I fought her for real and lost, I’d be depressed.] Jade
[You’re a rank C, aren’t you? From your point of view, is that girl that strong?] Guildmaster
[She’s strong. I didn’t get a clear look at her weaponry, but I can see that she’s familiar with it. She is also highly skilled in magic. Above all, she has a strong heart. It’s scary for even big men to fight some kinds of monsters, yet she fights those alone without a care in the world. She seems to be a fierce fighter who’s used to it.] Jade
By herself. I don’t know how she go and fought the Black Viper by herself. Moreover, she defeated the Big Sandworm without breaking a sweat. She even defeated a Big Scorpion. If I were alone, I’d run away. I don’t want to fight those things. I’m able to fight those now because I have friends. Since when I’m fighting, my friends are there to back me up. Friends who call out to me when they’re in danger. I can fight strong monsters because I have such reliable friends. But Yuna is strong enough to fight by herself.
But by simply judging her from that bear outfit of hers, nobody will imagine she’s strong.
Then comes the iron, the prize of the trials. It was a small bear figurine.
The fact that Guildmaster knows about Yuna means that Yuna is definitely involved in the Gate of Trials. But I’m afraid to ask how Yuna got involved, so I’ll keep quiet about it.
I picked up the iron bear. Then the room dims.
[I guess this year’s trials is over.] Guildmaster
Guildmaster looked somewhat relieved.
[Isn’t it too early this year?] Xelo
[There have been times in the past when it’s only one day. It happened some years ago. Come on, let’s go back upstairs.] Guildmaster
Guildmaster pats us on the back.
When Guildmaster returned and reported that the trials this year were over, the next blacksmith who was waiting for his turn looked frustrated.
I guess no one thought it would end on the second day. It seems they were expecting that it would be up for at least three to four days.
Xelo-san and I go outside the building. When we got to the place where everyone was waiting, I saw Yuna looking at me. I kind of reflexively put my hand on top of her head.