“Here, Master…” Lydia handed me a hot cup of what appeared to be this world’s version of coffee.
I took a sip and nodded. It tasted a little different, but it was good enough. I normally didn’t like my coffee black, but given the circumstances, I decided it was necessary. Our next battle was supposed to be in an hour or so, so it was enough time to get something to eat, wash, shave, and improve upon my appearance.
Feeling a bit better after getting something to eat and cleaning up, I finally decided to ask Miki and Lydia for any details they found out since this morning.
“The battles today are all group battles. That narrows things down to the top 20 groups. These groups will be invited to a banquet tonight. Tomorrow the next round of battles begin.” Lydia explained. “Tomorrow, each battle will be a one-on-one match. Each group will pick three to verse another group. It’s the best of three per round, but the same person cannot fight twice in the same round.”
I scratched my freshly shaved chin as I thought about what she was saying. It left me a little worried. Terra and Lydia were my two fighters. That meant that at least for one battle every round, I’d need to depend on either Celeste’s wind attacks or Miki’s spiritual attacks. I guess I could go up instead, but that sounded really scary. Perhaps, if my opponent wasn’t that intimidating. That left me with another thought.
“How is the battle’s order decided?” I asked.
“On the spot,” Lydia answered. “The order and who picks first is decided by you. It’s considered cowardly to wait for the other team to call someone up before you select. According to someone I spoke with, it’s typically a race to put someone out for the 1st fight. Otherwise, you may gain some of the ire of the crowd.”
I understood the mentality, but I didn’t really care that much how the crowd thought of me. The previous event was slightly embarrassing, but it wasn’t like it mattered. As a guy who had been harassed and teased a lot in my life, if I had such a weak skin I would have fallen apart a long time ago. That was basically nothing in my mind. As for the crowds, this was the first round, so I didn’t have that many watchers. Most of them were fans of the Dragonmight anyway, so they weren’t exactly ever going to be cheering for me.
The point was, I barely had the attention of 1/100th of the crowd, and most of them wouldn’t even recognize my part by the next match. I foresaw no long-term repercussions because of my initial bad impression I put on the crowd. With time, hopefully, they will ignore me and it will be the elegance of the girls I am with that is remembered.
Besides, I wasn’t the only slave owner fighting alongside slaves. Dragonmight just happened to be an adventuring team notoriously anti-slavery. Naturally, their fans would hold the same sentiments. I think the short of it was that I needed to start building up a fanbase too. Definitely, with this next fight, we needed to start doing something flashy and really get people’s attention.
“Deek Squad, you’re up!” Someone yelled into the tent we were resting in.
Looks like it’s time to start making waves.
“Deek Squad versus the Trembling Demonheart!”
It wasn’t the same judge who had called me out before. He also added “squad” to the name, which made it sound even worse. Once again, we were against a team that had a way better name than our own. Was it too late to change our name now? It was no wonder that we didn’t have a fan base. What was I thinking just calling it after my name?
As we walked onto the stage, a group of five also walked onto the stage. I was relieved to see that three of them were slaves. Actually, I really shouldn’t be relieved about others having slaves, but at least my group couldn’t be singled out.
“Isn’t that the one who battled Dragonmight?” I started to tense up as I heard this word.
“I don’t know, I didn’t see that match. I heard that he attacked the girls first. Savage.”
Well, those weren’t the worst rumors that could have spawned from my match. If it stopped there, I could definitely leave happy. Actually, I couldn’t leave at all. I had to fight this match first. The three slaves were two men and a woman. The men were strong and muscular looking. The woman was big-breasted. She gave me a feeling like she might be a magician or something.
As for the non-slaves, they appeared to be a sister and brother combo. Oh, they are kissing now, I guess they weren’t related at all.
“I heard they’re brother and sister.” I caught a disgusted voice behind me whispering.
Never mind that, it was preferable if it was don’t ask, don’t tell in this particular situation. Rather, can you guys use less tongue? This is a public place. Even your slaves are looking a little awkward. I felt a growing urge to beat both of these incestuous siblings up. It wasn’t because I was jealous that I also didn’t have a cute little sister. I certainly wouldn’t kiss her like that if I did!
Actually, I did kiss my cousin once, but we were young. She was also a fat girl, about the same weight as me. It was a few years since I had last seen her. Wait, why did watching a brother/sister combo make out on the fighting ring suddenly make me feel a bit nostalgic for home? Even if I found a way back home, I wouldn’t take it unless I could bring everyone I cared about with me!
I was still having stupid thoughts when my girls ran out to fight their group. The three slaves seemed to be holding off my slaves. I realized that the sibling couple were holding hands and were coming for me. I raised my hand and started tossing out fireballs. The two seemed to dance around them. I even heard the crowd yelling “ooh” and “ahhh”. What the hell was going on? This was a fight to the death, stop acting so suave.
That’s what I was thinking, but this was supposed to be entertaining for the crowds and I did say that I would create waves in this fight. In that case, my mind was reeling as I tried to come up with something to really cause this fight to stand out. I then remembered from my previous fight that the crowds seemed to really love a hero for justice. Suddenly, an idea struck my mind and I pointed to the couple.
“I challenge you!” I suddenly declared, righteous fury painting my face.
The couple stopped, clearly surprised at being pointed at and addressed in the middle of the battle. I spoke loudly enough that the entire match froze for a moment.
“What is it?’ The male finally said, putting his sister behind him. “We’re already fighting, what challenge?”
“You possess such a great beauty, but it is clear you don’t deserve her!” I said. “So, how about a one on one between you and me. If I win, then you hand her over to me!”
“How dare you set eyes on my precious sister!” The guy said, hiding the girl behind him.
So, the girl really was his sister after all! She was holding him familiarly from behind and hiding, clearly frightened. I shook my head instantly and crossed my arms.
“Who would be interested in your sister!” I declared, “I want that beauty right there!”
I pointed at the big-breasted oneesan who was the magician. It wasn’t because she reminded me a bit of a certain mage I had passed up when I purchased Miki! Rather, I was doing this just to increase our presence! I was trying to earn some fans, and saving a poor big sister from some depraved guy that tongues his sister would naturally get me some fans, or so I hoped.
“Naturally!” I said. “If I win, you will hand her over to me!”
“R-r-ridiculous!” The man protested angrily.
“Oh… are you saying that you fancy her?”
“Of course no-“ He suddenly stiffened.
I could feel the cold air suddenly building behind the guy. The sister who was holding him gently was now grasping him tightly. I had suspected she’d be the jealous type!
“I see… since she is your mistress and the pair of you have that kind of relationship, how could I possibly make such a bet.”
As I said those words, the temperature continued to decrease. The man immediately began shaking his hands.
“Not at all! There is nothing between us! Nothing!”
A hurt look flashed on the magician’s face. I’m sorry, big-boobed girl, but this incestuous bastard doesn’t deserve you anyway!
“What will I get if I win?” He demanded.
“Gold?” He seemed taken aback, but when 1000 gold clunked on the floor, the entire cheering crowd went silent.
This was clearly a lot of money. Far more than the slave herself was worth. She seemed completely surprised by this offer and even blushed slightly upon seeing how much I put out for her. Well, I only needed to put out that much if I lost! Even so, it was an amount I could afford. I certainly wasn’t going to bet one of my girls. I also put him in a situation where he couldn’t even attempt to mention one of my girls or his sister would definitely punish him.
Like that, I could see the greed growing on the man’s face. His sister was also pinching him, clearly also wanting the money as well. Being a lord didn’t mean much if you didn’t have the money to back it up. Some of the people out here today were heroes, while others were rich merchants or adventurers. Getting accepted as a lord was just the first step. After that, you needed capital. I was actually a bit backward in that respect. Thanks to my successful dungeon diving, I had plenty of money, but now I needed my lordship.
“Very well!” The boy finally agreed. “One on one. The loser steps off the platform with the rest of his group. Afterward, I’ll collect my thousand coins! Is that okay with you, referee?”
“There are no rules against it.” He responded helplessly.
Our bet was drawing more and more people. I had successfully made the wave. Now. I just needed to win.