Book 2: Chapter 191
As Bargan had predicted, he continued to ride his momentum.
He fought three more consecutive matches and won all three of them.
Of course, the fights steadily became more difficult as he progressed.
He hadn’t received any major injuries today, but Bargan had only won by a paper-thin margin.
Nevertheless, he was happy.
‘I’m growing stronger at an explosive rate.’
The more he fought, the more certain he became of this fact.
“7 straight victories!”
Aram let out a hearty laugh.
“It seems that you are in your best condition. But can you maintain this form until ‘that’ day?”
“I can’t say for sure.”
There was about a week left.
As he had this thought, Bargan looked out at the street.
He was currently sitting with Aram at a table in an open-air restaurant. Aram held a large piece of roasted meat in one hand and was biting into it with his sharp teeth.
In front of him was a large pile of bones without a hint of flesh remaining.
Seeing his casual appearance, Bargan muttered softly.
“You don’t seem that worried. There isn’t much time left.”
Aram, who ate the rest of the meat in one go, wiped his oily mouth with his hand.
“Nothing will change even if I’m worried about it, will it? It’s much more productive to fill my stomach.”
His words were right.
Nevertheless, Bargan still couldn’t bring himself to eat.
Instead, he took sips from a glass of beer as he spoke.
“By the way, Aram.”
“What is it?”
“Have you really never met the man named Ountal?”
Aram’s expression became embarrassed when he heard this question.
“It’s because he’s always busy dealing with our situation… The rest of our comrades are also extremely busy.”
“…how many are in your group exactly?”
“Including me… there are 15 of us.”
This was less than Bargan had expected.
He’d already heard about the ‘plan’.
But it wasn’t detailed or elaborate enough to be called a proper operation.
Early on that day, they would enter the arena and hide in a safe spot until their target arrived. They had chosen the stands. Although the arena was large, most of it was empty space, so there weren’t many places to hide.
Then, they would stay hidden until Kangki came to fight Kaytai, and ‘attack him all at once’.
That was a rough breakdown of their ‘operation’.
It was a number that had no chance of winning an all-out battle.
There wasn’t just Kangki, there was also his group of bodyguards.
In other words, the first surprise attack was extremely important.
Even if they couldn’t kill him in the first attack, they had to at least land one or two lethal attacks that would help their chances of achieving victory.
“By the way, what about your helper?”
Aram suddenly asked this question as if he’d just remembered it, but Bargan shook his head.
“I couldn’t find him.”
“Mm. That’s too bad.”
Aram drank the rest of his beer in one gulp before standing to his feet.
“It’s become pretty cold, so I’ll see you later, senior. Since I called you to hang out with me, I’ll pick up the tab.”
“I owe you one.”
“No need for that.”
Aram smiled broadly, and after paying the bill, left with his hands swinging at his sides.
Bargan calmly watched him leave for a while before finally getting to his feet as well.
Then he started following Aram.
* * *
He knew how skilled Aram was.
He’d seen him fight a few times in the arena. Aram was a Fighter whose level was considered around the mid-levels of the Lirua arena, and his ranking was similar to Bargan, who had won several consecutive matches.
Nevertheless, this didn’t mean that his true skills matched his ranking.
In fact, Bargan’s experience and intuition told him that Aram was actually hiding his true skills. Of course, this meant that there was no logical basis or proof for this guess.
…So to sum it all up,
Bargan simply didn’t trust Aram completely.
In fact, his current evaluation of him was currently bordering between complete distrust and suspicion.
Of course, it felt nice when he met him at first.
When heard that there was an ‘organisation’ rebelling against Kangki from the shadows, he had great expectations, and he even felt admiration for ‘Ountal’ who had managed to find these like-minded people and unite them.
But after thinking about it a bit more deeply, he noticed a few discrepancies.
Bargan awoke from his thoughts for a moment and checked his surroundings.
The number of people walking around had been steadily decreasing. This meant that from now on, he had to be a bit more careful as he followed him.
Aram walked along the empty street with his unique swagger. Then, he turned into an alley on the side of the street.
‘From here on…’
His chances of getting caught would be much higher.
In such a cramped and deserted alleyway, he would have no excuse for his tailing if he were to be discovered.
If things didn’t go like he wanted them to, the relationship of trust that he’d built up with Aram would be destroyed.
After having this thought, Bargan snorted slightly.
‘What relationship of trust?’
They had only known each other for a week.
The ‘organisation’ had no choice but to stay hidden from Kangki’s eyes. In other words, it was perfectly understandable for them to set up a hideout in a deserted area like this one.
The same could be said for why Aram was hiding his strength. If he showed his true skill, he would attract attention. There was nothing strange about that.
Nevertheless, the feeling of discomfort in his chest didn’t disappear.
Bargan quietly ducked into the alley.
The towering buildings became rough curtains that blocked the moonlight. Thanks to this, the narrow and complicated alleyways became a dark maze.
Bargan felt that he could not get any closer without being found.
He would have to use something that he couldn’t when there were more people around.
Rely on his hearing.
The sound of footsteps came from not so far away.
Aram was the only person who entered the alley, so naturally, these footsteps belonged to him.
Taking a deep breath, Bargan slowly followed the footsteps.
Focusing on his hearing was more frustrating and tiring than he expected.
Perhaps because the distance between them was too far, the sound of the footsteps was faint, and it would even cut off at times.
He was nervous.
He was also tense.
Nevertheless, Bargan didn’t stop following.
The footsteps stopped.
Bargan also stopped moving, his expression stiff with tension.
The footsteps could have only stopped for two reasons. One was that he had arrived at his destination, and the second was that he had noticed him.
‘What should I do?’
To confirm that, he would have to get closer.
If it was the former, then his shadowing was a success, but if it was the latter…
Bargan decided to stop thinking about it and move. He couldn’t back down after already coming this far.
After approaching the corner that Aram had turned down, he carefully poked his head around.
There, Aram was standing.
With his back straight, he stood at a dead-end where not even a mouse hole could be seen.
“Come on out, senior.”
It seems he had heard him too.
With a barely audible sigh, Bargan slowly walked around the corner.