The day has finally come, hasn’t it? My first fight of the tournament. I can’t really help but be nervous. Did I prepare enough?
I attempt to take several deep breaths as I make my way to the fighters reception area.
There is a clear air of tension in the room as I enter. The atmosphere of this waiting area is incomparable to the opening ceremony. Everybody is preparing for their matches. Some are doing light workouts, while others seem to be psyching themselves up. Those that aren’t are scanning the room, assessing the condition of their competition.
“Ah, are you number 34? Your match will be taking place shortly if you would follow me this way.” I am almost relieved when a woman walks up to me and motions to follow
I jog to follow her, eager to escape the death glares of the others in the room. After a short while down the hall, she leads me to a small wooden door. Inside of which is a well-lit room with a mirror and a chair.
A mirror! Ahhh, I haven’t seen one of these since I appeared in the castle. I…. do not look very good. Thinking about it, I haven’t often had the chance to bathe properly. My hair especially really looks like it’s taking some damage. I wonder if I can find somewhere with shampoo in the market?
“Ahem!” I hear suddenly startling me
I turn to see Shishou entering the room behind me.
“Is right before the match really the time to suddenly start caring about your looks?” Shishou says with an annoyed tone
What does that mean?! I care about my looks! I’ve just been busy is all!
“Focus, you can win this if you play your cards right. I won’t let my disciple lose in the first round.” Shishou sharply comments
He has an oddly serious look on his face. I almost forgot that when he’s not torturing me in some fashion or another that he tends to look quite intimidating.
“Did you manage to think up any strategies?” He asks
“Well… I managed to come up with one I think could work… but I don’t know if I should use it.” I say as I nervously ponder over the idea
If it doesn’t work, I’ll be in some serious trouble after all. Even if it does work…
“Use it. If it doesn’t break the rules then you should brandish every weapon you have.” Shishou barks in a commanding tone
“Well it doesn’t… but-”
“No buts! You need to go into this knowing your strategy will work. Doubt will only make you weaker.” He interrupts
Is this him trying to be inspirational?
Well, in the end, he’s right. I don’t have any other ideas. If that fight with the Orc was any indication I won’t stand a chance by normal means.
knock knock knock
“Your match is about to begin if you would please head this way.” An attendant poke her head into the room after a brief knock and ask me to follow
I give a sharp nod to Shishou and leave. As I follow the attendant in silence through the barely lit halls my heart begins to pound in my chest. The methodical thumping that rings in my ears with each beat only furthers my nerves.
When exactly did I get so invested in this? These fights aren’t exactly life or death after all. Aside from helping Tea in a more peaceful manner and hindering the Yuusha a tad, I have little reason to fight… so why am I so nervous?
“IT’S HEEEEEEEERE!” An enthusiastic voice screams over a loud speaker system that rumbles the floor
The sound is so powerfully echoed through the hall that it nearly knocks me to the ground. My heart feels like it’s leaping out of my chest.
Who in their right mind would do that to someone?!
The attendant never faltered once. She continued to walk forward, never even slowing her pace despite my stumblings.
Which one of us exactly is meant to be a demon again?
“Ladies and gentlemen! We have what is probably the most incredible fight of the first round for you today! Though I can’t promise it won’t be over quickly, so keep your eyes peeled and don’t you dare blink!” The loud voice continued with equal enthusiasm but thankfully lower volume
The sound is still loud enough to hurt my ears, but thankfully it doesn’t make me as dizzy as before.
Seriously, did nobody think about the freaking acoustics down here?! What would you have done if I went deaf before the match?!
“Hurry up, you need to head out there when he announces you.” The attendant says giving a harsh glare over her shoulder at me
Wait… does she have something in her ear? She does! If you have ear plugs then give me some!
“Our first contestant is new to the scene, but her main traits seem to be her stunning beauty and her absolutely horrible luck! Give it up for Mano!” The announcer continues
What is up with that intro? I can’t really argue with that comment about my luck, but he is really setting me up for failure on that beauty comment. Just about every girl I’ve met has been cuter than me. Heck, even Kera is when she’s not being a pain in the neck.
Whatever, it’s not like I really care what the crowd thinks of me anyway.
Following my intro, I walk out into the arena. It’s hard not to squinch my eyes as they adjust to the bright light again, but when I do I’m met by a pretty amazing sight. The massive arena that is several stories tall and packed to the brim with stands doesn’t have a single empty seat in sight.
Light cheers and applause ring from the crowd as I come into view. The thunderous roar they make is both inspiring and nerve-wracking.
“Now, you all might want to hold on, because our next fighter will knock you out of your seats with his entrance! He’s big, he’s… well he’s mostly just big! Give it up for Riese the Kolossaal!” The announcer continues
I have been wondering about this. He can’t simply walk in like I can, so how exactly do they plan to get him in here?
A horrible chill runs down my spine when the sky suddenly grows dark. I look up to see a massive man hurtling towards the ground.
To say the ground shook when he landed would be an understatement. With nothing to hold onto I was flung into the air. I couldn’t even stand after landing due to the residual tremors.
“Hahaha! What did I tell you? Pretty amazing right? Were you blown away? I know somebody was at least.” The announcer annoyingly quips