Like she had suspected, the 'Battle Poetry' event was announced in short order. Just enough time for everyone to get tipsy, though she noticed certain groups had avoided drink altogether.
Not that she gave a damn. She had two goblets down the hatch, and a slight buzz kicking in. She rhymed better drunk. A slew of verses were spinning through her head, loosely applicable to everyone here. No, she needed to narrow it down to individual houses and people. But since she didn't follow all that politics bullshit, she was at a disadvantage. Well, who said they had to be truthful? As long as she could bend the truth, or even skip around it without anyone knowing, she could get some nasty shit in.
She also had the experience of being small time rap fan. Nothing big, just in and out as her interest waxed and waned. Diss tracks happened to have been some of her favorites, and there was nobody here to stop her if she started utilizing and plagiarizing some of the more memorable lines. That one line from that movie about rap battles was def going in, though.
With a space cleared and all eyes on her, the princess was drawing names from a pouch, carried by a slave. The names of everyone in attendance, no doubt. One by one, the lucky little nobles made their way up to the impromptu stage, followed by jeers and cheers from their peers.
Steff kept her head down, and watched them closely. Most of the nobles were from higher houses, or famous Young Master from the city. There was even the daughter of rich merchant from the Deep South, here in the city as 'learning experience'.
In short order, nineteen contestants were chosen, making their way to the open space near the princess. Steff watched with trepidation as the final name was pulled, then groaned as her own name was announced. Kicking her chair out of the way, she got up and stomped towards the others, a thunderous scowl on her face.
People got out of her way as they saw her coming, even the ever arrogant asses in the upper class too wise to cross her in this mood. She elbowed her way through the circle that had formed, and took her place near a dandied up prat, crossing her arms and wishing looks could kill.
Waving her fan in front of her face, the tall Do-Min-Ra announced the matchups. No tournament style grid, just in the order they had been chosen in. A mysterious prize would await the winner of each round. Some cheap cultivation manual, likely.
As the matches began, starting with two sons of a minor general that had a public feud going on, she studied her opponent.
His name was Jakir, the son of a foreigner that had risen in the court. He was tall, deeply tanned and a known wino. Decorated in silks, even overdoing it by noble standards. What else had she heard about him? Physically inactive, liked poetry. Rotated a few girls through his own harem of slaves. Married, but despite having a beautiful wife, was rarely seen with her. All good ammo.
She stared him in the eye and slowly smiled, a grin splitting her face as he looked unsettled. Pointedly tuning out the flowery, pandering poetry coming from the others, she began forming verses in her head.
Oh, she was going to make him regret showing up tonight.
As she formulated the verse and structured the theme in her head, the other poems came to a close, as the final few waxed and waned, she wove the rhymes around the mental beat of Hit Em High from and old movie about basketball, one of her favourite beats and songs of all time. These twats brought lines, well, she was bringing bars.
Then, it was their turn. Jakir, having been first in line to be drawn, was chosen to go first. He waved to his friends, nodding and beaming, just oozing confidence as he pulled a scroll from his pockets and took his place across from her in the ring.
The crowd watched, already on edge and excited from the earlier matches. To the side stood the princess, her face hidden behind a fan but no doubt with a smile on it.
He shuffled, excited, but Steff loosened her arms and let them fall to her side, rolling her shoulders and cracking her neck. They wanted a show, well, she would give them a damn upset.
"You may begin."
At the signal, Jakir stepped forward, head held high and mouth open.
"Good friends, before me stands a foreign mage,
A disgrace to our cities good name,
"Shut the fuck up!"
Steff had stepped right in front of him, and with a roar, drowned out his words. Well, surprise, motherfucker. She roared into his face, sending him recoiling.
"Oh, you thought these were prearranged?
Fool, you want your face rearranged?
Fool, you want your race and gender changed?
You really want to be a pussy?
Then tell your wife i said, hello, and that she's a great hussy."
Best way to take out a guy. Go after his dick and his reputation. They were expecting this be a beat around the bush and subliminal contest. Fuck that. The crowd, despite being a stickler for rules, wasn't whining. No, they were eating it up. Finishing the short pause to let the words sink in, she went back on the attack.
Jakir stood, shock and horror written on his face as she continued. Had he ever been so personally insulted before. Hah, probably not.
"She doesn't want you anymore, dog.
you couldn't get her pussy sore, dog.
She says you get tired after a single thrust, dog.
Your girls worship me now when i bust, dog.
THEY THINK I'M THEIR GOD."
"Yeah, they seeing me, and lovin it.
If you was ever home, you could listen to it.
While you out there roaming, trying to get some ass.
I'm in your house, fucking out all the sass.
I heard you finally kissed your wife on the face?
Now you can tell everyone how my dick taste!"
The crowd was either stopped dead in horror or stomping their feet as she spit verse after verse at the hapless sucker. He stood white-faced and staring at her. A tear rolling from one corner of his eye. more fuel.
"Fuck your wife, fuck your life, fuck your entire reason for living.
Cuz when I come by, they see my dick is the gift that never stops giving.
You used to be talked about in town, every young master's fears.
But now, you're dead weight, falling through the tiers.
Hell, you haven't advanced a single stage in YEARS!"
The final blow. Worse than any mans life, womanizing or infidelity, was their cultivation ability. She was tearing him to pieces, and loving it. She held nothing but contempt for these fools, and they had given her the perfect outlet. Adopting a mocking tone, she soldiered on. She was up in his face now, inches away and forcing him to back up as she continued, fury pouring from her mouth.
"Aw, is that a tear in your eye?
Is the Big, Bad, Disgraceful foreigner making you cry?
Making your dreams go bye-bye?
Maybe you should have stayed home, CUZ IT'S BEDDY-BYE TIME!"
With no warning, she hauled off and roundhouse punched him.
Hard. In the jaw. While wearing steel gauntlets. He folded like a toppling house of cards, head snapping back and knees folding.
Didn't take a genius to figure out he wasn't sticking around for the reward ceremony.