Chapter 3: Higher ups
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Around the arena there was a huge space of ground that put distance between it and the audience. The tremor started and the ground moved, making an opening of at least ten meters in front of the gate that every fighter had used to get into the arena. The opening showed a pair of stairs leading further bellow, so much that it was not possible to see how far or deep it went.

“Congratulations to our brave heroes!” The same voice from before could be heard and now Mares could see who was talking. It was a woman with four eyes; her skin was of a slight ton of red and her hair was green. She was using a simple dress, one that emphasized her bust and waist, obviously to make her more effective to manipulate the crowd, and it worked really well.

Hearing the people that pushed the fighters to kill each other, calling them heroes almost made Mares want to burst out laughing. He didn’t.

‘Heroes. Fuck, that’s the best joke I heard in a long time.’

He said with genuine sarcasm and actually a sense of fun. For him that was an actually hilarious concept to hear about.

‘Hihihihihihihihi!’ Esen shared his thoughts. In the space of his mind she would be rolling on the floor from laughing, if there was a floor. However, in all that laughter there was a deep hate that could only be described as implemented in the soul.

‘They reunite all these people, by either buying, capturing or borrowing them, and they still call us heroes? I wonder what they did to be able to be so shameless.’

Her thoughts made fun of the coliseum and those involved with it, at the same time that made them both feel pressure. That was true place of life and death battles. Though Mares did really well, this was only barely the beginning for them, it was not yet their real starting line. They knew that from now one the opponents would be much harder and stronger to deal with, especially as they advanced. And if they wished to one day be able to run from this place and their captors… well, right now that was too much of a farfetched dream to even consider it too seriously. The two had some cards under their sleeves, but what they currently have far from enough for their goals.

Feeling how sorrowful they became Esen fastly tried to change subjects.

‘Well, either way, I hope at least the food here is good! Hahahaha…’

They stayed in an embarrassing silence for a few seconds and Esen could swear she felt the coldness.

“Pff…” The joke itself didn’t work, but Mares had to use some self-restraint to not laugh at her. He could feel that she blushed, embarrassed at his reaction since she knew perfectly how he felt.

As the pair had their conversation, they walked along the rest of the few survivors, going down stairs. Near the entrance of the stairs there were two five-meters men with their bodies covered in high tech gray armor, holding what looked like hand-sized cannons. Mares could feel the energy that made those weapons work, and he didn’t need to see them in action to know how deadly they could be.

‘Mars… they could easily kill us…’ Esen warned with a bit of wary in her voice. Any reminiscence of joking was gone.

‘Figured. Thanks for the warning.’ Esen’s sense of danger was much greater than his. Even if he could feel pressure from the guards, she could notice in clearer detail how high or low their chances of survival actually were. In this case, they were none.

With dejected spirits they went down a stair that seemed to lead down to hell.

[…]

Most spectators had already gone back to their normal lives. They had work and other responsibilities to fulfil after all. Even most of the VIP guests were already gone. Still, at the moment, except for the gladiators and the staff of the coliseum, there were two people that didn’t live or work there.

“Sir Enno, royal highness. Is a pleasure to, not only have both of your presences on our humble coliseum, but even be as honored as to get a gift from you.”

The one saying those words was a humanoid man. His face had an oval shape, with his two eyes standing vertically instead of horizontally like humans. In his forehead there was a thin line that seemed like a scar resulted from a shallow cut. His ears were pointy and his hair was brown with a fringe pointing upwards. His clothes were something Mares would assimilate with a formal suit, just by them one would be able to tell that the man was probably someone important.

And indeed, that person was someone really important, the owner of the whole coliseum. In that planet he was the one that hold most power, even more than kings and governors. His coliseum was the biggest business in not only the planet, but of that solar system, after all people from the whole galaxy and even the neighbor galaxies came just to watch their countless spectacles. Though he invested a lot on it, the returns were always enough to allow him to invest in other businesses. Eventually he had in his hands eighty to ninety percent of the planet economy in his hand, and his influence reached even the closest galaxies, so everyone bowed to him. In that instant, he was lowering his head and being courteous to two others.

“There is no need for these words Talho, we are simply doing an investment. If the results are good, you might get some more of it, if not, just forget about it.” Said the man that referred to Mares as his creation, Enno. His skin was of a faint blue, but it didn’t look like to be how he naturally looked. In reality, anyone, from any species that saw him would describe his skin color as unhealthy looking. And even above that, Enno was a short man with a body that barely had muscles or flesh. His skin looked glued on his bones, and it was possible to see his skeleton in a concerning number of details.

The man besides Enno, that Talho referred to as royal highness, seemed indifferent to that whole conversation and was looking through the window into the horizon. His gaze was impatient. It was clear that both didn’t put him in their eyes. In reality, if putting Mares in the coliseum wasn’t a convenient decision for them, they would never even trouble themselves to look at someone on Talho’s level.

Though that was uncomfortable for Talho, he had to swallow his own pride and accept their aptitude. He knew the type of people they were and knew much better to not annoy them.

“Aham… is there any request sir would like to make?” Talho asked with a forced smile.

A cold shiny light in Enno’s eyes, disappearing as fast as it appeared.

“That boy. Firstly, make him wear a mask in his battles. We didn’t bother today because I was here, but we do not wish for others to know how he looks. And secondly, put as much pressure on him as you can. Try to break him, make everything and everyone here his enemy.”

His words came with calm and lacking any sort of feelings. The excitement he showed earlier talking about how Mares was his possible greatest creation was nowhere to be seen. That startled Talho, but he was only momentarily surprised.

“Could I be as bold as to ask why?” His curiosity got the best of him and he decided to ask while lowering his head.

“A killer only gets better by killing, a soldier only grows into a general in war.” Once more a devilish smile formed in Enno’s face, making him look worse than usual. “You need hell to grow a demon.”

A shiver went down went down Talho’s spine. He knew those people were crazy, he heard rumors and had seen enough of them to confirm it for himself. This didn’t help him to suppress some of the fear he had of them.

Gulping he asks one more question, both to be sure and because he wished to satiate his curiosity.

“And if he dies?”

“We don’t have use for weaklings. But I doubt my masterpiece will break down so easily.”

Once more Talho gulped.

“Ok then, I will be sure to pass down the orders. Anything el-” In the space of time that took the coliseum owner to blink, the two had disappeared. He looked around for some time and couldn’t see a single shadow of them.

‘Freaks.’ After being sure they were no longer there, Talho manage to take a deep breath. Only now he realized he was sweating cold. He took one more deep breath and allowed himself to relax.

“Mafe.” He seemed to call to nothing. A pop sound happened behind Talho and a man appeared, seeming to have teleported there. He was two meters tall, had dark yellow skin and long gray hair. He had two eyes with both irises completely blue, and on the sides of his head something that looked like rocks of the same color as his skin stick out. His body was covered by a brown cloak.

His knees were on the ground as he waited for the next orders of his master.

“Remembers the silver-eyed boy?”

Mafe simply nodded in confirmation. It wasn’t exactly hard to remember, after all he was the one that stole everyone’s attention.

“Send down orders, I want everyone and everything on this coliseum putting as much pressure on him as possible. Put some rewards on it, but not too much. I am not giving a full meal for free just because they can bully a kid.”

Once more Mafe simply nodded. His image started to disappear from left to right and in few seconds Talho was once more alone on the room.

This ends the introduction, at least of the story. The whole first arc is setting some stuff, like characters. The first arc ends around chapter 15/16, if there is anyone curious about it or that wants to wait until there to try read everything at once.

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