The day of the tournament arrived. The gladiator arena was open, and people came from far and wide to spectate. Unlike the tournament in the Capital, which was good-natured sparring set up in the town square, the colosseum was a massive brick building that surrounded a large field that had been drenched in the blood of the innocent.
Every month, a match was held. Gladiators would travel far and wide to compete to the death. Some were men, much like Dungeon Divers, who put their lives and well-being on the line to make money. Why would people do that? Well, one must consider that this was a world where Resurrection was a spell. To a gladiator, death was merely an inconvenience. This meant that the sport was even bloodier since the consequences were negligible.
It wasn’t uncommon for opponents to torture each other on stage for the amusement of the crowd. Fights against animals and monsters, rape, and brutality were merely common on this stage. The battle was so unsightly, that the capital city of Aberis had refused to house their own colosseum. Lord Reign had only managed to get one built upon a special edict with the head of the Cloud Meadow Empire. Unlike Aberis, colosseums were very popular there, and in Cloud Meadow City, the Colosseum was even said to meet weekly.
This particular arena was neither large nor small. People came from afar to enjoy this blood sport. Those that liked it the most were those that were considered criminals by most. As a result, the city forwent checking people’s status during the event. Crime and danger for the public skyrocketed during the week of the colosseum matches, but so did the income to the city, so few people complained.
Dark Priests, Bandits, Warlocks, and other undesirables came out of the woodwork during this time, ready to excitedly watch the bloodletting under Lord Reign. It probably should also come as no surprise that the city had no official branch of the church, as they would assuredly have protested this practice.
So, for a certain man wearing a certain amulet, entering the city was rather easy. He mixed in with the crowds smoothly, moving with a purpose. The dark expression on his face seemed to match that of the others who usually chose to live in the countryside as they entered the city, so his passage was noticed by remarkably few.
Crowds and crowds of people paid their entry fee and entered the seating of the colosseum. Soon, the seats were filled, and then the instantly recognizable Lord Reign came out from his box podium. Some cheered for him, although no one dared to boo him. His soldiers and knights were at every entrance and exit, and everyone looked to be powerful enough to cut a man down. It was anyone’s guess how he had obtained so many knight tokens as to have so many elites working under him.
“Ladies! Gentlemen! I am Lord Reign! Introducing the 87th consecutive gladiatorial meet!”
This led to quite a bit more cheers, even from those of a less reputable nature. At this point, he introduced the announcer, who was a magician who had magic that could amplify his voice. He had a nice voice too. He’d be one of those guys who could do a movie trailer, so it was clear why he was selected for this job.
“Thank you all for coming. Since the night is young, and we are just getting started, let’s start today’s match with something to get your blood boiling. Every tournament must start with a virgin sacrifice, don’t you think?” His words elicited several cheers before he continued. “For our first match, it’s slave girl versus gladiator! If the gladiator is successfully able to woo her with his advances… then she’ll be brought to his cell and he can enjoy her for the rest of the night! Can this wench maintain her chastity? Let’s find out!”
Upon finishing, people started to let out louder cheers and catcalls of excitement. At that moment, the gates opened. An imposing, muscular man stepped out from one side. As for the other side, a girl was tossed out through the gate. She was wearing a simple slave outfit which was torn in several spots. Her body sported several bruises, and it was clear she was recently beaten. She also had a collar around her neck.
She was also instantly recognizable. The slave girl standing there shivering was none other than Raissa!
“You… you can’t do this!” Raissa screamed out.
Her voice rang out just as there was a lull in the crowd. One could call it luck because something about the way she shouted seemed to strike a chord with the audience. There started to be muttering amongst the audience, who were confused and slightly angry.
“What is this bitch on about?”
“She’s a slave, right? Like she has a right to talk that way.”
Realizing she had the crowd’s attention, she stepped forward. “I’m not a slave! They captured me unjustly!”
This caused the crowd to start mumbling even more.
“Not a slave?”
“What the hell…”
A slow clapping sound resonating from the box up top silenced the crowds as Lord Reign emerged once again. “You’ll have to excuse my little Raissa here. As the Lord of this city, I personally verify that she is a slave. She escaped some years ago, but I recently caught her reentering the city.”
“That’s a lie! I was freed by a noble all that time ago! I was returning to the city under the order of the Princess!”
“Unfortunately, my dear, the local slave branch seems to have no paperwork confirming your supposed freedom. Now, you even speak of knowing the Princess personally? Can you all see how easily lies roll off this slave’s tongue? Let’s hope she’s better at fighting for her body than she is at talking!”
This led to a couple of chuckles, but many people still found it highly suspect. Lord Reign frowned and then nodded to a fat man sitting in the stages. He nodded and stood up.
“I’m the Slave Pavilion’s local keeper. I can verify the veracity of Lord Reign’s words. If any paperwork ever existed suggesting this slave has been freed, it must have been lost.” When Lord Reign gave him a sharp look he stiffened. “And… the Pavilion would never make such a mistake, so, of course, this slave was never freed.”
“There you have it,” Lord Reign snorted. “Unless anyone here wishes to challenge my word and the word of the Slavers?”
Although a few people were still unconvinced, they were smart enough to not say anything. Getting in bad with the slavers was a quick way to end up in a situation just like Raissa’s, especially out here, so far from the core pavilion. Most were criminals who, by all accounts, should be arrested just for existing, and the rest had more important things to worry about than a former slave caught up in some kind of political scandal.
Satisfied with the silence, the lord nodded and returned back into his box. As for Raissa, she looked through the crowds in disbelief. Those with a conscience wouldn’t meet her eyes which had filled up with tears as she realized that no one was going to help her.
That was when she realized that the man standing on the opposite side of the arena started to move forward. He had a helmet on, hiding his face, but his lower body was only covered by a loincloth. He seemed to be covered with oil, giving him a shiny appearance. He also had a club in his hand. Meanwhile, Raissa had nothing but the clothing on her back, and soon, she might even lose that!
“Please… don’t…” Raissa begged as the man approached her.
She desperately tried to back up but ended up tripping over something and stumbling to the ground. When she glanced down, she realized it was a bone she had fallen over, likely from a human who had died on this stage and was eaten. She continued to back up, but she quickly ran into one of the broken pillars that made up the center stage.
Every ounce of training she had ever received now fled her mind. She used to be Dungeon Diver. She had survived where countless others had died. She had been in the depths of miasma filled caverns in far more dangerous circumstances. She had even been threatened with rape before. However, she had never felt so helpless as she did right now. She couldn’t even bring up the slightest bit of resistance.
Meanwhile, the man continued to advance on her, moving forward one step at a time. His eyes never left her body. Although, that was more her imagination than reality. With the helmet, she couldn’t see his face. However, she imagined he was licking her with his eyes, violating every inch of her.
“I-I’m not a virgin…” she suddenly said.
This caused the man to pause for a moment. Seeing that, she tried to seize the opportunity. She spoke in a low voice that couldn’t be heard over the shouts and jeers of the crowds.
“Lord Reign… he’s lied about many things. Please… if you let me go, I really do know the Princess! I might even be able to get you free…!”
The man started to move forward again. Before Raissa could do a thing, he dropped down on top of her. He pinned her down on the ground. From start to finish, she hadn’t done a single thing to protect herself. At this point, cries shot out over the crowd. Some were angry and booing Raissa for not putting up more of a fight. Others were calling out lewd things they wanted to watch the gladiator do to Raissa.
As she could feel his meaty claws all over her, she began to recall how she had ended up here. After Deek had sent her back to the city, she had passed on her message to the Prince. However, once the message was passed, she wanted to return to Deek’s side. She knew the dungeon better than anyone. Without her, she worried Deek and his formation would suffer.
So, she managed to return to the city, planning to sneak past the Knights and work her way down the dungeon. Surely, they weren’t any farther than level 15, so she would simply wait for them. She had spent long weeks in the dungeon before, so it wasn’t a problem for her to wait and survive. However, when she tried to leave out of the gate, suddenly she was arrested.
They gave her a bunch of trumped-up charges, claiming she was an escaped slave. Whenever she tried to argue or seek help, they beat her. Eventually, she had lost the energy to keep fighting. Now, she ended up in her current predicament, about to be raped by some man. Yet, she couldn’t blame him. He was just a slave following his own orders.
As he started forcefully spreading her legs, a single tear fell down her cheek. She began to think of a certain person. She remembered being in his strong arms.
“Deek… please save me…” she whispered her last, defeated words.
The helmeted man suddenly leaned closed to her ear. “I’m trying! Now can you put on even a little bit of a show? I’m supposed to be raping you here!”