“There you have it, folks! I’m sure you are all already thinking about all the exciting battles that could happen with this lineup, but I’m afraid you will have to wait! It’s only a few days away, but even that seems far too long! While your tension rises the fighters will be preparing for the upcoming excitement! I’ll see you all three days from now when we will hold the first round fights!” The excited announcer explains as those in the stadium seats begin to shuffle out of the arena
“Wasn’t all that eventful was it?” The man that helped me comments
“Not really,” I respond
The arena is intimidatingly large, and my first round opponent was a surprise, but the ceremony itself was rather dull. I suppose that’s why they have so few people attending.
“The fun starts three days from now. You better prepare yourself.” He warns
“Any advice?” I ask
“Well, you don’t get the advantage of knowing who you are going to fight ahead of time very often, so why don’t you use the opportunity to think up a strategy? Learn if there is a weakness to exploit.” He answers with a joyful expression
“Learn my opponent… I think I’ll take your suggestion, thanks. Bye.” I say as I turn and begin to walk toward the giant
“Wh- Wait, what? What are you doing?” He asks caught off guard by my sudden exit
“I was hoping to get a chance to talk to him anyway, maybe I’ll get some useful info as well,” I say without stopping as I continue on
“Heh…. your an odd one aren’t you?” I hear him say almost to himself behind me
I ignore him and continue. I refuse to acknowledge a comment about me being odd, no matter how true, while I’m surrounded by monsters, clowns, and a giant. I feel like if I do I will lose one of those last shreds of sanity and dignity I’ve managed to hold onto.
As I continue to walk I eventually reach the wall of the arena. At the top of the wall behind a short railing of stone is where the seating begins, and at the top of that seating, the confused looking giant is still standing there squinting at the tournament line-up. I’m sure there must be some way to circumvent this wall and make it up to the stairs, but I have neither the time or the patience to find it.
I might be able to jump up high enough to grab onto the top if I really put my all into it.
“Hup!” I let out as I leap with all my might upward
A chill runs down my spine in surprise as the ground grows distant from me in an instant. Not only did I manage to completely overshoot the wall, but I continue to fly upward still for several rows of seats.
“…Haaaaaa~ Let’s never do that again.” I let out to myself as I land and attempt to regain my composure
I must have jumped at least two stories high. Apparently, I don’t like heights. At all.
I look back to make sure I didn’t just make a spectacle of myself, and I am relieved to see that most people have already left or were facing away as they exited the arena. Only the man that helped me remained, and he continues to stare at me with a look of humor and surprise.
…Well, I have a feeling that he already signed me off as a weirdo anyway. I’m going to just let that one go.
I calmly walk up the stairs leading to the top row of seats somehow still unnoticed by the giant.
Is he really that engrossed in the bracket? What in the world could be so interesting that it has grasped his attention for this long?
“Hey,” I call out as I reach the top waving my hand to try and get his attention
He doesn’t respond. Still, he seems to have not noticed me. I walk directly in front of his face, nearly standing in the way of the board to better grasp his attention.
“Helloooo~ You in there?” I ask waving a bit more when he still doesn’t react
“…Huh? Oh! Are you talking to me?!” He asks in inordinate surprise when he finally notices
“Yes, sorry, was I not speaking loud enough?” I ask apologetically
His ears are a great deal larger, but maybe they aren’t fine-tuned for smaller noises. I might have to speak up to talk to him.
“No no no no no! It wasn’t your fault at all! I’m sorry! It’s just… nobody ever talks to me.” He explains waving his hands around desperately to prove he is being genuine
I can’t help but feel uneasy when he does though. The sound of his hands waving around is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. The wind moans as his massive mitts tear through it like it’s nothing. The breeze that hits my face does so with enough force to make me fear for the safety archways of the arena that his hands are only nearly missing.
“A-anyways! Um… why are you talking to me?” He ask as he leans back in
“I’m your first round opponent apparently. My name is Mano. It felt kind of weird to fight somebody without getting to know them at all.” I explain nonchalantly
To be more honest I had been waiting for the opportunity to speak to a demi-human since I learned this was a fantasy world. I haven’t seen or heard of any though so I was beginning to lose hope that they existed. Perhaps they are such a normal part of life for people that they simply don’t come up very often?
“You are?! I mean, my name is Riese! Wait! That means you can read the bracket right?!” He asks as he struggles to figure out what to say first
…Crap. I walked right into that one.
“To be honest I can’t really read this countries language just yet. It’s a bit embarrassing so keep it to yourself though.” I explain with a blush
I can’t be expected to learn an entire language in the course of a few weeks can I?! Why can’t this language interpretation skill just work with written language?!
“Oh… That stinks. My vision is kind of bad, so I can’t read the letters from this far away. They only keep the big bracket up for the ceremony though, so this is my only chance to see who I’m fighting.” He explains as he rests his head on the pillars
There is a faint sound of the pillars creaking as the stone struggles to support the Goliath.
“A bunch of people showed up to record the line-up, can’t you just ask them?” I ask
“The paper that they write on is too tiny for me to read, and everybody is too scared of me to tell me what it says.” He explains with an uncomfortable look
Didn’t they say they would accommodate him earlier? Shouldn’t they have at least made sure he could see from where they put him before starting? He didn’t even get a number either, so they must have preassigned one to him. Why did they even make him come if he can’t actually participate in the ceremony?
“In that case, I’ll help you out. I have a friend that can read, I’ll just get them to come to tell you what it says.” I say trying to cheer him up
It feels a tad weird for me to be helping him with this though. The only way this information will be relevant is if I lose to him, which I have no plans to do.
“Really?! That’s great!” He says raising his head and bouncing between feet in joy
POM POM POW POM
“Yes! It is! Please stop that!” I yell out as I struggle to cope with the shaking ground beneath me
Due to the violent vibrations, I fall off of the bench I was sitting on, and clutch onto it tightly to prevent myself from moving too much. My grip tightens, even more, when I realize the sheer drop past the archway.
“Sorry! Sorry! I’m such a klutz!” He apologizes as he waves his hand around in panic
“You might want to work on that,” I say as I get back on my feet
“Tell me about it.” He says with a defeated look