…Am I still alive? I almost don’t want to look.
Well… I hear cries of agony all around me. If I’m not alive then I guess that kind of checks out actually.
I slowly open my eyes to see a pale faced Hark who has dropped to his knees, staring over me with a horified expression. A crack in the ground slowly grows from where he kneels towards my direction.
As I follow the crack I see that it has missed me by little more than a hairs bredth, and I quickly realize where the cries of agony are coming from. Right after the sight of it reaches me, the smell suddenly does as well. Iron and charred meat.
I bring myself back to my feet and draw my weapon. I slowly begin my approach towards the Yuusha while I listen intently through the screams.
“W-What a massacre! Never in tournament history have we seen so many casualties in one match! But… what’s this?! The contestant Mano has somehow survived the blast?!” The announcer yells out, finally coming to his senses
Not yet, that isn’t good enough. I need to be sure.
“What is she doing?! Surely the match is over, right?! The Yuusha has clearly shown himself to be the superior fighter! We must also attend to the survivors immediately!” The king says in true anger
That isn’t enough to make me give up either, you are going to have to try harder than that. If I let this monster live here, then he will certainly be the death of me. I won’t get a chance like this again.
I place the tip of my blade against Hark’s throat. The place where it contacts begins to sizzle, and yet Hark doesn’t react in the slightest.
“Actually, the rules of the tournament clearly state that the match doesn’t end until one contestant dies or admits defeat. If Mano chooses to continue the fight then we can’t claim she has lost yet.” The announcer explains in a nervous tone
I can only imagine how red the king’s face must be right now, but it must be nerve-wracking to tell a king that angry that he is wrong. The results of this conversation determine whether or not Hark lives. It is a trial with his life and my fate on the line. I’m counting on you announcer.
“Who cares about such trivialities?! Aren’t the lives of the audience more important?!” The king yells towards the announcer
Why hasn’t he just declared the Yuusha victorious himself yet? I was planning to take advantage of the moment the announcer claims that the fight continues, and ending Harks life before the king had a chance to, but isn’t this conversation odd? It’s almost like the king is trying to convince the announcer to do it instead. The announcer sounds too scared to say that the fight is ongoing, but also isn’t giving in to his own king.
“A-Ahem! No sire, the rules clearly state that those viewing the fights do so at their own peril! As previously established, the injury or death of an audience member does not have any bearing on the fight itself. We have yet do determine a winner-” The announcer explains, steeling himself
“No, dont!” The king desperately tries to interupt
“The fight continues!” The announcer makes his proclamation all the same, and the audience cheers with uproarious applause.
“Mano, please, don’t do this!” I hear someone yell from the stand in a histerical voice
The same voice that yelled out right before the Yuusha’s attack, Anata.
This could be bad, if I murder the Yuusha here I will be making an enemy of her as well as the king. I’m fine with being hated by the royalty, I would just need to go to a different nation, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth to be hated by her as well.
“You heard the announcer Anata! The match can only end when one of the two contestants dies or admits defeat! So tell me Hark, do you admit defeat?!” I yell out so both she and the Yuusha can hear me
The Yuusha continues to stare at the carnage, not reacting at all to me or Anata.
“You don’t have to do this! You don’t have to kill him!” She loudly weeps
“Look at the carnage around you! That attack that killed so many and inflicted so much pain? I was its target! Hark has shown his power as a warrior, and now he must show his honor as one as well. If you point your sword at others with the intent to kill, then you must be prepared to be killed as well!” I say as I draw my sword back
I won’t manage to talk my way out of this any better than that. Say goodbye you nightmare!
My gaze is drawn away from the Yuusha momentarily by the sound of a large explosion to the side. Perhaps due to the pain it just endured, my body puts up its guard before I even have time to think.
As I stare towards the explosion shadows begin to form in the smoke.
You’ve got to be joking…
“WHAT IS THIS?! A horde of undead has broken into the arena! Could this be a counter-attack by the Yuusha?!
Did this idiot set up some kind of large scale attack during that fight?!
The undead continue to pour in by the dozens through the hole in the wall.
There must be hundreds of them… just how far do his cheats go? But why are the entering now? He clearly isn’t giving them any commands.
Momma! Where are you?! I can feel you nearby! Momma!
A strange voice rings out, interrupting my thoughts. The voice feels as though it’s spoken from within my own head in a staggard artificial voice.
“Huh? Who was that? Is someone in here?” I hear the announcer begin to question
The tone of the crowd turns from excitement to a confused chattering.
Did the voice speak to everybody?
In my attempts to find the origin of the voice, I look hard at the undead horde, and my heart drops into my stomach. In the smoke, I notice a faint pink glow begin to shine through.