Do you disagree? Would you like to go on? Kuzon stared at me.

His smile was condescending, but I realized that he had every right to look at me in that way.

We had both come a long way since our Ainzlark days, but some things never truly changed.

I lost and overwhelmingly so at that.

This had to be the first time I would suffer such defeat in battle ever since I was a kid.

It felt really shitty.

So, Jared, my information.

Y-your wha?!

My information.
The location of the Nether Cult.

Ah, that For a moment, I had forgotten the reason why we started fighting in the first place.

One sec

Now capable of using my Magic, I used Healing Magic on myself and also used a potion from my Special Storage.

Fortunately, none of my internal organs were affected, so it wasnt fatal.

I healed up in no time.

A-ah, much better Rising from my position, I looked in Nerons direction and signaled him to bring down the barrier.

Once he did so, the members of our team slowly began moving in our direction.

Jared, the location, Kuzon said impatiently.

Hes leaving already, uh?

I tried my best to make him stay, but I wasnt strong enough.

The reason he agreed to our match was probably because he knew the outcome already.

I had thought I was in the big leagues thanks to the whole Demon saga, but was I really just at the starting point?

Its located at the very center of the world, between the four continents.
I sighed, glancing at Kuzons stoic face.

Theres nothing theres though.

Thats what they want us to think.
I tracked one of their members there.

And you think they didnt notice?

They did mid-meeting, but it was already too late by then.
I had gotten my information.

I see Its just highly doubtful that they wouldnt have sensed something I was able to.

Well, I used a different method.

Our conversation was so fluid that I almost didnt believe we were fighting just moments earlier.

Alright then.
I believe you.
Kuzon said, smiling at me differently.


It felt weird that he wasnt giving his usual cold expression or mocking gaze.

I just thought you didnt do very bad, Jared.
You performed better than expected.
We were just a poor match.
He shrugged.

Now that youve gotten what you want, you can leave.

Neron and the others arrived right in time, and the first to speak wasof courseLemi.

Hahaha! Serves you right, Jared! This is the first time Ive seen you get beaten like this.
It feels strangely satisfying.

S-stop that I murmured, not even having enough strength to resist her teasing.

It felt horrible, though.

My own daughter I almost wept in shame and disappointment.

Not so fast, Jared.
You said I could have whatever I wanted if I won.
Ive still not done that.
Kuzon smiled ruefully.

His expression now looked more like the snobby dude I knew him to be.

Urgh, alright.
What do you want? And dont say my Arcanas, cus Im not giving.

What? Arcanas? Hmm, that could work, but that wont be necessary.
I already have one, so its fine Kuzon shrugged.

So, what do you want?

I could feel some gazes on me, while others were on Kuzon.
It was really embarrassing that I lost to him when everyone was watching, but there was nothing to do about it now.

Ill just grant his request so he can leave.
We have a lot to cover in our search, after all.

I think Ill need one member of your group to help me with something a mission.


Thats what I want.
Youre not going to deny me that right after I beat you up so much, right?

I had no right to refuse, but what was this guy saying now?

Didnt you say all of us were dead weight?

Not all of you.
Also, I apologize for calling you dead weight.
Youre far more capable than I gave you credit for.

Yet I still lost.
Just how capable did he think I was before now? This thought troubled me but I simply decided to listen to what he had to say.

So, who do you have in mind? Me?

For a moment, silence pervaded our vicinity.
Kuzon blankly stared at me, and I also blankly looked around me.

I would like to have your expertise, but Im not cruel enough to stand in the way of your mission.
Ill take a member that wont affect the productivity of your teamat least, not too much.

Who could that be? Is there someone here whos not dead weight and is also not too essential to our search for the Arcanas?

Kuzons eyes darted in a particular direction, and before I could turn to look, he had already vanished and grabbed the person to his side.

Hiyaaakkk!! The girls thin voice pierced the air as she was both flustered and confused.

Ill be taking you.
He carried her like a sack by his sidethat was how small the person of his choice was.

W-what are you doing? Let me go! Ana yelled, trying her best to break free, but failing nonetheless.

A deal is a deal.
Isnt that right, Jared? Kuzon smiled, looking at me for confirmation.

Well I met Anas gaze.

Though she was complaining, I could tell that she was enjoying this.
It also seemed like she liked Kuzon a lot.

As for him I wasnt sure yet.

Still, I didnt want to stand in the way of whatever was going on between them.
Plus, we had a deal.

Will she be safe with you?

Im not sure.
But its not like shell be any safer by your side.

That stung a bit, but I accepted Kuzons words anyway.

He wasnt wrong, after all.

A deal is a deal.

JAREEED?! Ana yelled at me with disbelief in her eyes.

What are you doing, Jared? Youre letting that dude take Ana! Lemi yelled at me in disbelief.

Well, I better take my leave now.
I dont want to get into this conflict.
Also, it seems youve become more popular with the ladies, Jared must be tough making a choice.

Wha?! You bastar

Before I said anything more, Kuzon vanished in a flash of lightning.

That guy

I found myself conflicted about what to think of the young Midas.

Truth be told, my memories of what I knew of the Midas Empire were a blur.
But, I still had some fraction of it.

Are they all powerful monsters like him those Royals? I smiled to myself.

In the end, I never gained any special Magic or additional knowledge from Kuzon.

It felt like a total waste of time well, almost.

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