Chapter 22: Execution Match Part 1
After the slightly giddy slave departed, I spent the night in a good mood.
When the morning sun rose, I could hear the footsteps of slaves walking down the hallway.
Georg and the slaves were approaching to carry my cage.
“Take it out.
Don’t drop the cage like last time,” Georg commanded.
Upon hearing his words, the slaves surrounded the cage and lifted it up.
Perhaps because they heard those final warnings, as their faces turned pale.
I could understand their reaction as I remembered the previous day’s match.
One of the slaves who was transporting the cage had slipped and dropped it.
I was unharmed, but Georg had flown into a rage like wildfire and killed the slave on the spot.
Not because he was concerned about me but because the cage was the property of the young master, the son of the duke.
Although I was shocked by the slaves’ treatment, I made a sudden discovery at that moment.
Georg’s invocation of spiritual arts was slower than I had anticipated.
Compared to the spiritual arts used during training, this low-level spiritual art might have been weak, but it had enough power to kill a slave who lacked defensive measures.
I was confident that I could activate it the moment I decided to use it, but Georg needed a few seconds to “charge up”.
In addition, it felt like he was wasting unnecessary spiritual power.
While I might not have been as knowledgeable about spiritual arts or circuits, I might have been better at controlling them.
I had already decided to kill him with my own hands someday, so I would remember that Georg had a fatal vulnerability in his “charge up” time at that moment.
I was carried through the courtyard by the slaves and then lowered from the carriage onto the platform, the same route we always took when going to the “Battle Beast Tournament”.
Hmm, it seemed like there were no slaves taking care of things today.
I wanted to go straight to the arena, but there was nothing I could do if they were not there.
I would just have to give up.
The carriage rattled and shook as it moved down the road, arriving at the arena as usual after Georg and the manager exchanged greetings.
I was then carried through the corridor and thrown into the “Battle beast” storage facility area.
“Hmph, as always, still an unpleasant old man, but you, I don’t hate you.
After all, there’s no battle beast who can attract customers like you do! Hahaha!”
Once Georg had left, the manager began cursing him just like he did when I first arrived here.
The only thing that had changed was that I had become the manager’s favorite.
He treated me like a star after I won the “Rookie’s Battle” by defeating the rock dragon.
It wasn’t because he became my fan, but rather because he wanted to use my victory over the dragon to earn more money.
While praising me, he also advertised for challengers, using slogans like “defeat the new rookie king who defeated the dragon and claim its glory”.
He even manipulated the young master who owned me to set up matches as he pleased.
It was easy to deceive him… maybe the young master was not very smart.
The opponents prepared by the manager were all powerful and comparable to the rock dragon in strength.
They included the previous year’s rookie king, rare and powerful creatures, and even battle dolls specifically designed to counter my attacks.
Each battle was a fierce one where death was a possibility.
Over the past two years, I have suffered countless injuries, and this guy could be considered the main culprit.
I’ve been on the brink of death many times because of him.
Even if you claim that you don’t hate me, I still have a deep-seated hatred for you.
“And today, a new attempt being made for the first time will change the history of the ‘Battle Beast Tournament’! Hahaha! I can’t stop laughing!”
The manager left the storage facility, making suggestive remarks.
What is he planning to do? Did it have anything to do with me? If it did, I wouldn’t like it.
Today’s event was not a big tournament like the “rookie’s battle” but a regular “Battle Beast Tournament”, so there weren’t many beasts in the facility, only about twenty, including me.
My opponent should be among them, but to be honest, they all seemed rather weak.
If there was someone who could hide their abilities well enough to deceive my compound eyes, then they could be dangerous.
However, I didn’t think they were that powerful.
I have gained a variety of experiences over the past two years, and I wouldn’t underestimate my enemy’s strength.
I thought someone more powerful would arrive soon, but then the manager started his opening speech from above.
What is going on?
The other battle beasts were taken away one by one, and then I realized something.
The number of remaining beasts was an odd number.
Except for exceptions like the preliminary rounds of the “Rookie’s Battle” there had never been a battle royale match in a regular “Battle Beast Tournament” before.
That meant there would be one beast left over!
Could it be the “new attempt” the manager spoke of? If so, it’s disappointing, so it must be something else.
It turned out my original guess was correct, and in the end, I was the only one left behind.
Being the only one, the spacious facility felt even larger.
Without the other beasts, it was quieter than usual, but that made it easier to hear the cheers and boos of the spectators above, who were excitedly watching the battles taking place.
(Still, how can they watch killing without getting bored? Is watching bloody fights really that enjoyable… ah, here they come.)
As I pondered my simple question, I heard footsteps approaching the facility.
I expected them to come soon, so it didn’t matter, but I really wanted to know who my opponent was by now.
The manager’s subordinates and about ten slaves carried my cage to one of the entrances.
Oh, isn’t this the place where the “Rookie’s Battle” was held? It’s been a while since I’ve been here… Has it been a few months already?
With nothing else to do, I watched the ongoing battle.
The combatants were a large beast and a lizard.
They bit and scratched at each other, getting covered in blood as they fought.
My honest impression of it was… it was quite low-level.
They were just using brute force and getting covered in blood because they didn’t bother with defense or evasion.
What was there to feel from watching a no-guard slugfest? Maybe the audience just wants to see blood; then, anything will do indeed.
Oh, the lizard bit the beast’s throat.
That was a fatal wound.
But after that, there was no exciting event like a desperate counterattack or a life-saving blow, and the beast just stopped moving.
Although the level of the fight was low, it took quite some time to clean up the arena, which was unnecessarily dirtied.
The slaves cleaning up looked very tired.
The manager must be laughing heartily, as the audience was pleased.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have finally come to today’s final match! We promise to change the long history of the “Battle Beast Tournament” with this match! Now, please welcome the entrance of the criminal!”
As soon as the manager spoke those unfamiliar words, my legs moved forward instinctively.
It was either Georg or the young master who had given the order.
I advanced to the spot where the barrier was always set up, as usual.
The audience erupted in cheers when I appeared, but their enthusiasm quickly cooled off as soon as they saw my opponent emerging from the entrance on the opposite side.
It was a human.
He was a burly and muscular male of the Furu race, with scars on his imposing face and a dragon tattoo carved on his shaven head.
He carried an impressive battle axe on his shoulder but wore no protective gear, only a dirty cloth garment.
Around his neck, he wore a sturdy collar—a “binding collar”.
In other words, the burly man before me was a slave.
He must have been here to fight since he was armed.
Today, my opponent was this Furu race slave.
The man glared at the manager with a look of anger.
He didn’t even spare a glance for me, his upcoming opponent.
From this, I surmised that he held deep resentment towards the manager.
Regardless of the circumstances, it was natural for him to harbor such feelings if he was forced to stand here as a slave.
It was not surprising at all.
“In the previous ‘Battle Beast Tournament,’ various creatures were made to fight against each other! However, there was never a human figure involved! But now, that history is about to change!”
The arena fell silent as the manager began his speech.
Despite all eyes being on him, he continued fearlessly.
“This man is Gordon, the leader of a band of thieves who wreaked havoc throughout the western region of our country, known as the ‘Beheader Axe’.
He was meant to be executed, but apparently he’s quite skilled! It would be a waste to just execute him, wouldn’t it? Why not put him to good use in the ‘Battle Beast Tournament’?”
Since he was already deserving of a death sentence, why not consume his life as a source of entertainment for the people? That’s what the manager was suggesting.
Most of the audience, who were previously confused, began to be impressed by his words.
Some even cheered, saying things like “That sounds interesting!” or “Why not?” There were almost no individuals who strongly rejected the idea, even though it was likely that the manager had set these people up among the audience.
“This man is a big criminal who has caused much suffering to many people! We could say he is wrse than a beast! Imagine the excitement and thrill of watching him struggle and suffer in the ‘Battle Beast Tournament’ until he is executed…doesn’t it make you feel good just thinking about it?”
“Don’t mess with me! I’ll definitely survive and come back to kill you later!”
Gordon, the opponent, shouted angrily at the manager with his eyes wide open.
However, his voice was drowned out by the voices of the audience, and no one except me seemed to hear him.
Even if someone did hear him, there would have been no one to sympathize with him.
As the manager said, he was meant to receive a death sentence.
He had committed such heinous acts.
No one offered him a helping hand, and I had no intention of showing him mercy either.
There was no reason for me to be killed by this man, even if I were to abandon my mission of “living for a hundred years.”
“The excitement of the arena has returned! Let’s get pumped up and enjoy the show! Let the fight begin!”
And thus, the first battle between the battle beast and the warrior began in the HarlasiaJin Kingdom.
I opened my pincers and stood firmly, waiting for the fight to commence.
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