Looking at my first opponent, a hulking, huge muscle-bound man I can only describe as savage, the first thing that pops up in my mind is my current Life Point meter. I’m down 4,600 Life Points, approximately, and that may come to bite me in the posterior if it turns out that my combat skills are not matched against this extremely powerful man.
The crowd, consisting of a large number of men and women and others who stand extremely close to the elevated arena, cheers wildly and so loudly that I can barely hear the announcer speaking even with his voice projected throughout the entire room.
“Welcome to another match,” the announcer says. “I’m DJ Koin and this is the Rainbow Circuit Beatdown!” She screams incoherently, which leads to the rest of the crowd joining in. The man across from me on the stage does as well.
I wish I knew where Delta and Francis were... I mean, I’m sure they’re in the crowd watching, but as long as I can’t pick them out of the crowd I have no chance of feeling any way but alone.
Being alone is fine, though. It alleviates me of any responsibility to protect anyone around me. I can focus on myself and myself only. I just... kind of like being alone with other people around me to reassure me and give me confidence.
“So, our next match is another long-time hero of ours, Bonesaw McReady! Yeeeeeeeaaaah! Welcome Bonesaw back for another night of no-holds-barred, absolutely brutal, death-risking combat! It’s all highly illegal, but Bonesaw is exactly the man to participate in some illegal combat situations!”
Cheers. So, so many cheers.
“Yes!” the man known as Bonesaw screams. “I, Bonesaw, am a man who is prepared. In other words, Bonesaw is READY!”
The cheers continue, defeaningly boisterous in their vicious energy.
“In the other corner is a brand-new contestant. You may know him as the protagonist of the Dungeon Core Saga Series, but only if you’re a turbo-nerd who plays video games for sissies!”
The cheers disappear. They are replaced with boos, and those boos are just as loud. They are, of course, directed solely towards me. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to take something like that.
“This Blaze Blizter nutjob thinks he can defeat Bonesaw McReady. What do we say to that?”
“No Friggin’ Way!” the entire crowd shouts at once as if it is some sort of slogan or something. Perhaps it actually is one. And I am the target of it...
“Will Bonesaw beat his record of a three-minute victory?” the announcer asks. “Will he be able to keep his opponent conscious for over three whole minutes?”
“No Friggin’ Way!”
“Then let the battle begin the moment the bell rings!”
Bonesaw, my opponent, steps up to me and sneers. “Hey freak show! You're going nowhere. I got you for three minutes. Three minutes of PLAYTIME!”
“Freak show? That’s so rude,” I say. “I am not a freak at all. An anti-freak, if you will.”
He responds by shoving me back.
I bounce onto the ropes holding the stage corner barriers together. And just as quickly, I am moving forward again, right into Bonesaw’s trajectory. he pushes me again in a new direction and I tumble onto the ground.
The crowd is cheering, but a lot more softly than before. They don’t seem quite as enthused right now.
“C’mon, Blaze!” the announcer shouts. “Don’t die on us this quick!”
Okay, I’m starting to get a hang of what’s going on here. This isn’t such a complicated little fight club after all. He’s pushing me as a warmup just before he starts the real blows. And so as he winds up for his first real punch, I run clear in the opposite direction of the stage.
“Hey! Get back here!” Bonesaw shouts. He runs after me, but by the time his momentum has grown, I dash past him and go back to the side of the stage I was at before.
His agility is low, even if his power is high. Even with this small an arena, he is clearly outmatched. And thus my worries have already disappeared.
Bonesaw growls. “What’re ya doin’ over there?” he asks in a huff.
“Staying away from you,” I say. “You know, that is a cute outfit. Did your wife perhaps give it to you?”
“Actually,” he says, “my husband made it for me. He made it for me and gave me this glove to go with it as a gift for our tenth anniversary last year. You don’t got a problem with that, do ya?!”
“I don’t understand what you mean, but I hope you will understand this—” I jump into the air and raise my feet forward. They collide with his head and I jump, using his face as a platform. A few twirls in the air, I land gracefully, I do a little bow, and the fight is over in one attack.
Bonesaw tumbles around for a moment, raises a finger like he’s about to respond to my statement, and falls over unconscious.
That was the announcer’s bell.
That was me. [+1 DP.] Now I’m finally up to 40 Destiny Points, which is quite incredible I think. I’m very happy about it.
I’m down to [10,380/15,000 LP,] which means I barely broke a sweat that entire fight.
And then it hits me... the crowd is silent. There’s no cheering going on.
“Bonesaw...” the announcer begins, as if she were announcing a funeral, “...has been defeated. Blze Blizter is our new winner.”
Nothing. Absolute silence, besides a cough here and there.
It’s a bit awkward up here like this...
“I, uh, proclaim victory,” I say loudly. “Blaze Blitzer will defeat any challenger that... steps in...” I want to sound all energetic and hyperactive, but the crowd isn’t responding very well...
There’s some soft booing going on, but definitely no cheers.
I won the fight, didn’t I? What is going on here...
“Well, um, I guess Blaze Blitzer will be facing our next opponent once we clear out the ring and get everything sanitized,” the announcer says calmly. “This is DJ Koin and I guess, um, concessions are now twenty-five percent off, but only for the next five minutes. Get your pizza slices while they’re hot, I guess.”
The crowd starts to thin out, and then Delta and Francis run up to the edge of the stage.
“You were so awesome back there!!!” Francis shouts. “Holy crap! Can I livestream this to my followers? Is that even legal?”
“Please don’t stream this,” Delta says. “But idiot questions aside, you did good, Eryk. Did you gain a Destiny Point?”
“Then good. We’ve got some nice earnings for the night too. Keep on winning so we can get filthy rich, and I guess so you can get more powerful or whatever too.”
“Will do!” I salute.
Whatever challengers face me, even if they are ten times as powerful as Bonesaw, I will face them with as much vigor as I can muster.
The only problem is...
None of the challengers afterwards end up being as powerful as Bonesaw...