Book 2: Chapter 202
“…Kangki, the powerful Major City Lord of Lirua.”
Lukas slowly opened his mouth.
“A Fighter who never neglected his training.”
“U-, uh… uhh….”
“That was what I heard.”
He looked down with a cold gaze.
Before him was a skinny old man.
With shifty eyes and a frail body that seemed like it could break apart at any moment.
He had few scales left on his body, instead, he was covered in various scars and wrinkles like an old toy that had been eaten by insects.
This disgusting, decrepit old body, was the true appearance of the man named Kangki.
“My, my armor… my armor… How dare you…”
“If I had a mirror, I’d really like to show you your current appearance.”
Kangki, who was struggling and shouting on the ground, suddenly flinched.
“D-, don’t look at me!”
He didn’t have many teeth left, so when he shouted, his voice carried a lisp.
Kangki continued to struggle on the ground.
For Lukas, Kangki’s appearance was so disgusting that it made him want to vomit.
“You laughed at those Fighters who risked their lives in the arena, but look at you now. Is this the true appearance of the Major City Lord Kangki who is admired by many?”
“What’s the point of living such a life?”
“What do you know-?! You know nothing!”
“Th-, there are limits to physical training. Th-, those monsters on Dragon God Island…”
“No Fighter can defeat those monsters living on Dragon God Island! Not even a Grand Champion! That’s why I decided to choose a different path… With my mechanical armor, [The Creed of Kamesh], I was certain that I would be able to reach a level that would allow me to face those monsters…!”
“That is the power of the armor and those who made it. That is not something that you created yourself. It is not your power.”
If this man was a blacksmith, engineer, alchemist, or even a Sorcerer, then Lukas wouldn’t have felt such a deep disgust towards him.
But Kangki was once a Fighter. He was once a Fighter who had fought continuously with the goal of becoming the Grand Champion.
So he knew all about the struggle.
He knew what Fighters valued the most.
And he knew what made them the most pitiful.
He knew it, but he still chose to insult them.
He strayed away from the path he once walked, he trampled upon his own achievements, and he laughed at those who continued to walk on the straight, yet thorny, path.
That was more than enough reason for him to die.
Lukas walked towards Kangki.
Most of the fights in the arena took the form of ‘matches’. While it was true that they could easily become life or death battles, it was also true that these matches didn’t have to end in death.
But the fight that was currently taking place in the arena was not a simple match.
It would only be decided when one of the two sides died.
Kangki knew that too.
He struggled to breathe.
This was because he was no longer connected to the life support device in the armor. Just inhaling was incredibly painful, it felt like shards of glass were sticking into his lungs.
Nevertheless, he had to say something.
If he didn’t, he would really die.
“I-, if you kill me here…! Do you know what the aftermath will be…?!”
Lukas didn’t stop walking.
Seeing this, Kangki continued in a more urgent tone.
“All the major cities have noticed and ignored my manipulation! Do you know what that means? It means that they have tacitly acknowledged my actions-! I-, if you were to kill me-!”
Following a painful coughing, Kangki spat out a mouthful of blood.
“It would mean going against all the major cities!”
Lukas finally came to a stop and responded.
“Ishuta lent Li Hao to me. It took a bit of persuasion, but she didn’t seem particularly reluctant to help me kill you. Do you still think the major cities will get revenge for you?”
Despite Lukas’ words, a faint glimmer appeared in Kangki’s eyes.
He had stopped and responded.
At the very least, this meant that the conditions to have a conversation had been met. This didn’t mean his situation had turned around, but at the least, it was several times better than before.
“Ishuta is different! That girl has always been greedy! I’m sure she tried to rip you off in some way while using the pretext of helping you! For the other Major City Lords, the thing that they care about the most is the value of the title ‘Major City Lord’.”
“The value of the title?”
“That’s right! What do you think the response would be if it was found that a Major City Lord was killed by an outsider who appeared out of nowhere? Their prestige would fall to the ground! Not just mine, but the reputation of all seven of the Major City Lords would be dragged through the mud!”
It sounded like sophistry, but…
It made sense to some extent.
In fact, when Lukas had considered the fact that Kangki would become his enemy, that was one of his biggest concerns.
Kangki quickly continued talking.
“Do you understand now? Killing me would do you more harm than good-”
Lukas interrupted him in a quiet tone.
“There is something that the Major City Lords care about more than their prestige.”
Although those words made him feel anxious, Kangki couldn’t help but ask.
“What is that?”
“In the first place, the Major City Lords never got along with each other, and you have the worst reputation among them. Unlike the other major cities which grew steadily over time, Lirua grew explosively in only a few decades.”
A nail that stuck out would surely catch many eyes regardless of where it was.
In Kangki’s case, it was even worse.
As he’d said, all the Major City Lords knew that he’d made his city flourish using despicable means.
“I managed to convince five of the Major City Lords. The other two Major City Lords didn’t agree, but they didn’t seem to have any intention of protesting for your sake.”
“Wh-, what are you talking about…? No. H-, how…”
Suddenly, a thought flashed in Kangki’s mind like a bolt of lightning.
Lukas had disappeared from the city for a long time.
At best, finding the underground space, refining the Ancient Dragon Heart elixir, and going to Babylon to get Li Hao, were all things that could be done within a single week.
However, Lukas hadn’t appeared for several weeks.
“I went to visit five of the Major City Lords. And I collected the debt for giving them the Ancient Dragon’s corpse for free.”
Kangki’s eyes became so wide that it seemed they would tear at the sides.
“D-, did you just say that you gave them the Ancient Dragon’s corpse for free?”
“Well, not exactly. I just decided that in order to completely clear away the darkness in Lirua, I would need to form connections with other powerful people.”
And what connection could be thicker and stronger than the connection called ‘debt’.
Lukas had intentionally made them indebted to him. Hundreds of their subordinates were present, so they couldn’t do anything about it even if they knew what he was doing.
Nevertheless, Lukas thought that the Major City Lords would oppose his plan.
At the very least, he thought that there would be one or two who opposed.
However, it seemed that the relationship between Kangki and the other Major City Lords was even worse than he thought.
“Th-, that’s impossible…”
Kangki stared at Lukas in disbelief for a while before scurrying backward.
“Did you prepare any more rat holes? I hope not. And if you have no means left, then…”
Fire appeared on Lukas’ outstretched palm.
“You and the Lirua Arena will become ashes tonight.”
(TL: Lukas really did become more talkative)