~ Chapter 57: The downfall of a greedy merchant (Part 1) ~
Upon arriving at the coliseum, we found out we couldn’t go inside until Deroak or someone representing him arrived and told the guards who we were. If we wanted to pay for the show, it was only two silverettes, but since we wanted to fight, it was another matter.
We waited at the entrance until Deroak arrived with his two guards and a skinny man in his twenties by his side. The slaves he brought for this fight were in the back of a carriage who was bound to arrive shortly after. The skinny man would take care of the procedures, so while he did this, I followed Deroak together with Tamara to our seats. Nanya, Shanteya, and Ayuseya were shown by one of the employers at the coliseum to the waiting area for the fighters.
The first thing to catch my attention was the way this entire building was constructed. It strongly reminded me of a typical stadium from Earth with a retractable roof. The only difference was the materials these people used and the fact that the roof remained open all the time. A complicated wooden rib structure kept it from falling on top of our heads. It almost looked like modern engineering with a bit of magic added to it.
There were four rows for the normal population, and the fighting area in the middle was slightly elliptic, but the ring itself was a circle of flattened stones just ten centimeters off the ground. The seats for the nobility and royalty were located on the opposite sides of the major axis. The king and his family had a special seat which no one else was allowed to use. On the minor axis, the rich merchants and the slave merchants had their own separate areas as well. The division between the two was given by the fact that the latter brought the entertainment, or so I was told when I asked one of the men working here.
Usually, there wasn’t a day passing by without a battle or two taking place here, but the big events were reserved and programmed properly. In our case, it was going to be considered as a minor event that didn’t need any announcing.
“I take it you already spoke with your fighters about who will go first?” Deroak asked me as he leaned back in his chair.
I was sitting next to him and Tamara in front of me, looking curiously over the edge at the big ring in the middle. Her tail swayed slowly from left to right.
“Yes. We can begin any time.” I smiled.
The merchant snapped his fingers, and one of the big guards rushed out of here, most likely to let the people working at this coliseum know they could start the show.
Although this place had a capacity of almost 500 people, there were only about 50 to witness the battles of my girls. Maybe they were regulars or a more interesting battle was about to take place after this?
“My esteemed guests!” someone shouted in the middle of the ring, catching everyone’s attention.
He was a man of around 40 years old, with a long pony tail and dressed in white clothes from head to bottom. There were no special markings or embroideries on them, being as simple as they could possibly be.
“For the following match, we will witness a battle between a draconian warrior and one of Deroak’s slaves! The owner of the draconian and the slave merchant Deroak have agreed upon a small bet, the one who manages to accumulate three wins in total will be declared the winner of their friendly bet! Without further ado, let the battle begin!” he raised his arms to the sky and then lowered them fast.
Two gates opened and from one side, and Ayuseya walked out carrying the sword I made for her, while on the other side, a brawny looking man made his appearance, carrying a big hammer and showing us a big grin on his face. Thanks to that, I knew he was missing a couple of teeth.
After the announcer walked out, the two warriors stepped forward, well… the princess and the slave.
“This will be interesting, I hope your woman won’t fall too fast.” Deroak grinned.
“I hope so too, she is the strongest among all of them!” I showed him a confident smile.
“The strongest? You are starting in full force, aren’t you?” he laughed.
“Of course! When in a battle, you don’t waste time with small attacks, you hit your enemy fast and without mercy!” I declared and flexed my biceps like a regular adventurer.
“Oh? Is that so?” the merchant looked satisfied about something.
I could guess what his grin was about. In his eyes, I was taking the image of a brawny idiot with a greed just as big as his. This meant that I could be swayed by the shiny coins he would dangle before me. Unless, of course, he was a master actor and a genius of some sort who already saw through my little scheme.
The battle started with the slave attacking my Ayuseya. The man tried to land a hit, and it connected. Thanks to my enhanced senses, I could see that it didn’t even touch the dragoness. Her Magic Armor was simply too thick. There was a moment of pause while he figured out what happened, but the draconian didn’t let him and kicked him in the stomach, unfortunately, she stumbled on her dress and fell on her back.
“Ahahaha!” the merchant laughed and so did a bunch others.
Stop laughing at my wife! I’ll kill you all! I growled in my mind.
“Hm? Are you upset of this perhaps?” the merchant grinned.
“No, of course not… this battle is just getting interesting!” I laughed as awkwardly as I could.
Ayuseya got up just in time to block the attack of the warrior. She pushed him back and then gave him a slap over the face. It was so powerful it sent him flying out of the ring and right into the wall. He was knocked out and lost the rest of his teeth.
“Huh?” Deroak was surprised by this sudden turn of events.
“And we have a winner! The draconian!” the announcer shouted, scaring the hell out of me.
That man has some powerful lungs! I thought while trying to calm my fast beating heart, even Tamara was covering her ears.
“She is quite strong that one.” Deroak said rubbing his chin, most likely making an assessment about how much he could sell her for.
“As I said, she is the strongest in my team.” I smiled.
After the slave was taken out of there, the second one followed up. This time it was a weak looking fellow, a bit skinny in my eyes, but he felt stronger than the last one. As soon as the battle started, this guy started to cast some spells. It took him a bit to channel the Magic Energy, but Ayuseya didn’t let him. She jumped forward and struck him with the hilt of her sword right in his stomach. Coughing, the man collapsed on his knees and glared at her, but a punch to the face settled this match as well. The slave, a mage, was knocked out.
“And we have a winner! The draconian! This lady can sure give a punch!” he shouted.
“Not bad, don’t you think?” I smirked and tossed a gaze from the corners of my eyes at the merchant.
Deroak didn’t seem too pleased about it, but I hoped those weren’t his strongest ones. If Ayuseya lost to a weakling, it would be quite suspicious of her.
“I wonder if the next battle will be the same?” he said and then looked back at me with a change in his eyes.
So he placed them in ascending order according to their strengths? The last one must be quite strong… I told myself as I looked back at the ring.
Ayuseya looked back at me in that moment, and I nodded once, letting her know that it was alright for her to lose now.
The next battle was about to start. The announcer came forward to the middle of the ring and announced the next fighter, another one of Deroak’s slaves, this time, an el’doraw man. He was about the same size as Shanteya, but not too bad looking either. He had an athletic build and very few scars on his body as far as I could see. The weapons of choice for him were two curved daggers, but he was also a booster like Nanya, enhancing his physical abilities with magic.
When the battle started, he dashed forward at an incredible speed. He was at least ten times faster than the other two, but way too slow when compared with my wife. The first hit connected, but didn’t go past the Magic Armor. Ayuseya was pushed back a few steps, but she maintained her balance.
“What?” I said, acting all surprised.
Tamara perked her ears up and looked back at me. Even she didn’t see the man to be a threat for the dragoness.
“Hehe! My slaves are quite strong, you know?” he smirked.
Looking back at him, I noticed he wasn’t worried at all about losing this bet. On the contrary, I could say that he was about to win it. Still, I had nothing to worry about. Unless he brought out a Supreme, there was no way he could defeat Nanya and even then it was doubtful.
“Maybe, but I did win so far, I’m sure my woman will win again.” I smirked, showing to be quite confident in her prowess.
The battle was getting more intense with each passing moment. Ayuseya pretended not to be able to either counter attack or keep up with his speed. Little by little, she was pushed back towards the edge of the ring. Meanwhile, I showed to be annoyed at the way the situation was developing, tapping my foot and grinding my teeth.
“The draconian is out of the ring! Deroak’s slave wins!” shouted the announcer.
The battle ceased, and Ayuseya walked away with her head down.
Afterwards came Shanteya, but at the same time, her opponent, the el’doraw slave was replaced by a human one.
“What’s this? Why did you change him?” I asked surprised.
“Of course I did! I never said I would keep them after each battle. What, are you afraid you will lose?” he asked me with a smirk.
“NEVER! I would even bet you right here and right now another 10 goldiettes that my slave will win!” I declared and placed the coins on the small table between us.
“Very well! I accept!” he smirked.
I sat down in my chair and watched as the battle started.
Shanteya pulled out her dagger and rushed towards her enemy, showing the same level of speed as an Advanced Ranked Adventurer would. Unlike Ayuseya, she was very skilled at controlling her strength, and her acting was far better than mine. So well, in fact, that the battle displayed before us appeared to be a terribly difficult one. Shanteya was having a hard time landing hits or dodging them.
“She is quite skilled…” said Deroak as he watched her battle.
“I know, I’ve bought her from a very skilled trainer… ugh, but why can’t she win already?” I mumbled the last words with a low enough voice for the merchant to barely hear me.
“When this is over, I would like to know who that trainer is. I might desire to employ his services.” he told me.
“Huh? Maybe…” I said and appeared to be completely focused on the battle.
“Should we increase the bet to 20 goldiettes?” he asked me.
“Huh? Sure…” I waved him off.
“Very well.” he smirked greedily.
The battle between Shanteya and the slave was taking quite a long time, but in the end, she allowed a hit to slip through her defense and send her out of the ring, guaranteeing her loss. When I saw this, I sat up.
“Are you getting worried now? Do not worry, I will add these coins to the final bet. Or… would you like to bet more?” he asked me.
I cringed and looked back at him.
“No… that will be fine…” I muttered and then sat down.
“Too bad, your loss.” he appeared to be satisfied, but on the inside I was squealing with joy.
My plan was going perfect! This stupid merchant actually believed I was going to lose!
“Now! For the final battle! On this side, a beautiful human adventurer!” the announcer shouted and pointed to his left ”And on this side, Groatak, the most prized slave of Dreotak!” he pointed to his right.
This guy was quite tall, almost 2 meters in height, with lots of scars and well shaped muscles. He looked like the typical brute you would see in the role of a powerful villain who could snap a man in half.
“What?! What does he mean by that?!” I pointed at him and glared at the merchant.
“Relax my friend, as I said, I’m just replacing an injured slave with another. Nothing against the rules of our bet, right?” he showed me a cunning smile.
So this was your plan all along, huh? I thought as I sat back down in the chair.
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