A cold breeze went deep into Mares bones. Each step the gladiators took to go further down the stairs the temperature kept going lower and lower. Even now the only thing Mares was using as clothing was a pants. He also lacked something to cover his feet, making him totally aware of how cold the stair stones actually were. That didn’t seem to bother the long-haired, who just kept walking down with a neutral expression.
‘What do you think Es?’ He asked waiting for her analysis of the group that was going down stairs with them.
‘Hmph!’ He could feel the presumption coming of her. ‘Mars could beat this people with a stick!’ Esen said proudly, and Mares saw images of her balancing a stick as a sword in his head. A smile formed in his lips as he kept going down. His shoulders felt lighter at least.
After what felt like an eternity they finally arrived to their destination.
‘Did you know there was something this big here Es?’
‘Had no idea.’ She replied with a mental whistle.
In front of them extended a vision the two wouldn’t have imagined they would be seeing in the underground area of the arena. The underground space was gigantic, the ceiling was kilometers above, it was actually hard to determine how far it went. It wasn’t even possible to see it because a dark fog covered it.
‘I should be able to see the ceiling, no?’ The silver eyed was surprised that he was seeing that dark fog. To make sure nothing was wrong he made the question to Esen.
‘Not really. I can more or less sense that that’s the result of a spatial formation. The people here like to burn money.’ Esen said, making Mares understand what that fog actually was.
Extending from the ground there was dozens of pillars in line, all of which were so thick that probably not even fifteen people would be able to cover it if they embraced the pillars. If they hadn’t made that path themselves, no one would believe this place was underground.
‘Is the spatial formation the way they can put such a big place here?’ Even Mares was impressed.
‘More or less. The planet we currently are in is at least ten times bigger than Earth, so as much as this looks impressive to you, we barely in the second layer of this planet.’
With the mention of his home planet, Mares didn’t react much, but for a split second that only Esen could notice, there was a sense of longing on his eyes.
A loud and aggressive voice reached their ears and took Mares out of his thoughts. In truth, besides the impressive space there was also lots of gladiators and guards, the majority of those being robots as Mares and Esen noticed, around the place. Small buildings went beyond even what the eyes could see.
Mares took a fast look behind and noticed that the stairs that they used where gone and now there was only a gigantic wall of stone.
Close to where the survivors from the earlier battle were, there was one man in armor which seemed to be of high patent. At his side was a robot, its structure was similar to the man’s armor. If one looked around in the underground, they would notice that those robots where common and in constant patrol, and all looked like walking armors.
The armor in question had a bulky appearance, in Mares eyes it even looked a little medieval. At the same time, it was clearly made out of sophisticated and advanced technology. It looked flexible and resistant. In both the robots and the only living guard hands were projectiles. They didn’t seem to use short-ranged weapons.
Mares and Esen also noticed that the pressure the armored man and the robot gave them was much smaller than the one the giant guards from above ground.
The man was one of the few not mechanic guards and he was responsible for directing the new gladiators. In total there were only nine new gladiators, what was normal. One of the reasons the coliseum had such good fame was because they prioritized the quality over quantity, but since the business has been existing for more than centuries, now they can provide both quality and quantity.
‘They don’t even give them time to rest! These people are despicable!’
Even if Esen didn’t particularly care for the other gladiators, she was still irritated by how brutal the coliseum treated them. Mares was the only one that had no real injury, in fact every cut and small injury in his body was gone soon after it was inflicted on him. However, the others needed treatment and time to heal.
Mares said nothing, but besides agreeing with Esen, he was thinking of something else. Of how someone else that he knew would strongly agree with her, and do her best to change the current situation. He shocked his head, telling himself there was no time for this.
The nine people approached the two. The guard looked at them for a few seconds, stopping on Mares for more time than in the others.
He said after taking a look to all of them. Metallic plates appeared on his hand and were sent to the newcomers.
‘There is a trace of energy on this plate. They probably use it to track people but it also works as a badge. We have no choice but to use it.’
“These plates represent your current ranking on the coliseum, it’s basically your badge of identity. It shows how strong you are, where you can go and which resources you have access to.”
The other eight silently nodded in a mechanical way. Mares was the only one that didn’t react, but inside he was surprised.
‘Think of it like that game with monsters you told me about. People capture them and make them stronger so that they can fight more and put more of a show. The principle is the same here I suppose.’
Though she didn’t know much about Earth, when it came to some specific things or memories Mares had told her she had total knowledge about it. It was to the point that she could remember exactly how Mares had told her about those subjects with perfection, word per word.
A smile formed in Mares’ face. This situation was actually perfect for him. If they were to be so generous as to, besides give him even more battle experience and power, also give him resources to grow his strength, there was no reason to refuse.
He finally took a look at his plate. If another human from Earth saw that, they would have no idea what they were looking at, but Mares recognized as the equivalent of the number 7641. He had no way to hold back a cold breath. Even if this was not an accurate representation of his battle strength it told him what he needed to know. Right now, he might be strong but he was still on the bottom of the food chain.
‘The other got numbers from 7642 to 7649. Hihihi, this coliseum people vision isn’t so bad.’
Seeing that Mares was ranked as the strongest of this group gave Esen a sense of pride.
‘Ahh… you are helpless little bunny…’
He said to her as a joke.
“7649 to 7642 go to get treatment. 7641, we will show you where your dorm will be from now on.”
Since he was the only that wasn’t injured, they wouldn’t let him take a breath like the others. Without wasting more words Mares simply followed them.
With him walking around being followed by two guards, various other gladiators turned their eyes to see him. It was a weird scene, after all every time there was newcomers, they would just show up after they were healed, which could take from hours to days depending on their injuries and who or what was available to heal them. So, seeing only one person, and noticing that besides being bathed in blood, he had no injuries, countless gladiators were startled.
“What race is he from?” Someone asked surprised. Because there was a lot of humanoid races, trying to guess without some more information would be impossible. The gladiator that asked had the hopes that others had this information
“Look at his eyes, I have no idea which species has eyes that shiny like that.” Another person pointed out, what increased the mystery.
“I heard there was a fellow in the brutal group that survived without major injuries. Thought it was bullshit, but now…”
“And he fought against a technique user without using a technique! Fuck, will have another monster now!’
Those words shocked everyone. They were all very clear in how the brutal group of the newcomers was, since they were usually the one group with much more people than the others. It wasn’t unusual to everyone on that group to end up dead. Even if there was someone standing on the end, the injuries they received would probably be enough for them to die soon after the battle. Years could pass before a survivor showed up. And now not only one did as he was from an unknow species and was not injured at all.
Above that he defeated a technique user. Technique users were not exactly uncommon on the coliseum, but for someone that could defeat a technique user, without being one themselves, to appear on the group battles for the newcomers was practically unheard of.
The ones that spoke knew about that matter because gladiators with higher ranking have a little bit more freedom, so some of them could watch the battles occasionally.
Hearing the explanation about Mares the eyes of those people grow cold and hostility grow in them. There was also a huge sense of unease, some even felt fear. They were thinking that, if they didn’t try to scare him now while they still might have the chance, he would make their lives much harder later, even if indirectly.
‘They seem to hate me more than they hate these guards.’ Mares thought with a sense of ridicule. He answered them in equivalence, showing his battle and killing intent.
‘Show them!’ Esen cheered on him. She couldn’t support that they were looking at her Mares like that.
None of the gladiators had expected Mares to react. They thought he would at least be worn out from the battle. When he responded, all their auras and attempts to suppress him were swallowed by Mares’ own aura, as well as his battle and killing intent. And the scale of his move was much bigger than theirs.
They saw their own deaths by his hands, their bodies shredded beyond any recognition. His bright eyes seemed to occupy their minds, filling them with terror. The gladiators that were so full of themselves had backed way trembling. Some had fallen to the floor, there were even those that had dirtied themselves purely out of fear. The views Mares had shown them were worse than anything that they ever thought could happen to them, even inside the coliseum. They had no idea how someone that should be so young could project images like those in their heads.
The robot didn’t react to any of this and the guard also turned a blind eye. It was normal for newcomers to get intimidated, though even for that guard it has been a long time since the newcomer was the one intimidating.
Those people thoughts and fears were meaningless to the silver eyed. He kept following the guards and no one bothered him anymore. Soon enough a few buildings started appearing on Mares’ view.