After sampling the beastkin food, we moved on to the next bit of ‘entertainment’ that the D’ka had to offer. “Ooh, I’m surprised that they are doing this this week.” Rinn said in an excited tone as she pulled us along towards a crowd of people that were letting out cheers and shouts.
Seeing as we could barely hear each other over the volume, and couldn’t talk about some things openly, Terra sent me a message using her ‘god voice’. This is the D’ka Sha, a fight that happens whenever someone wants to challenge the Sharay, or reigning champion.
As I listened to her explanation, I we finally pushed our way through to the front row of the crowd. In front of us, there was a kitsune and an ursa, both male. The ursa had leather straps wrapped around his wrists, while the kitsune was wielding a long wooden staff. He is Fenric, the current Sharay. He’s managed to hold the title for nearly a year now. I heard her telling me as I looked towards the kitsune.
Just then, the larger ursa charged forward, using his superior size and strength to try to overwhelm Fenric. Oddly, I noticed his footwork seemed very practiced, and he kept himself controlled far better than I would expect a fighter in this age. No doubt, he was a martial artist practicing the techniques that Keliope brought down with her.
At the last second before reaching Fenric, he planted one foot into the ground and struck out with an open palm. The strength behind the strike was enough that I could begin to see the air distort slightly around it. Yet, its speed was nothing much. Fenric nimbly dodged to the side, before planting one end of his staff into the ground and using it to vault into the air.
Once airborne, Fenric did a quick flip, and brought the staff back around to slam against his challenger’s head. Judging by the fact that the staff didn’t break, despite the resounding crack that the impact caused, there is no doubt he infused it with ki to strengthen it. As for the poor ursa that was the victim of the attack, his body froze for several long moments while Fenric landed, before slowly collapsing to the ground. His health bar had dropped down near the very bottom, showing just how much damage he had taken in that attack, while Fenric's hadn't even seemed to drop at all.
Cheers and boos rang out from the gathered crowd as the fight came to an end, until Fenric once again planted his staff into the ground, quieting everyone. “Is there anyone else who wants to challenge me?” He asked in a calm tone, scanning the crowd with his eyes. I saw his gaze linger at me, surrounded by Miren and Rinn, before moving on.
Oh, Goddess of Fate, just what are the benefits of being Sharay? I couldn’t help but ask inwardly, knowing my prayer would get through.
The Sharay is captain of the city’s guards, and gets a level of respect to go with it. She answered, though I noticed a bit of annoyance in Terra’s tone. He’s been trying to get with us for months now, flaunting his authority and wanting to make our incarnations his women.
I’m… surprised he hasn’t been able to, honestly. I mean, neither of the two sisters seemed built for fighting, and I wouldn’t expect a society at this stage to be so strict against things like that. However, as I thought about that, the answer came to me from the heavens. Women are sacred among the beastkin. Forcing yourself on one is a crime met with immediate execution. He wants to, but he knows that he wouldn’t be able to get away with it.
Ahh… that did explain some things. The four deities of the beastkin were all women, so it is natural that women have a high standing in society. “You there.” I suddenly heard a voice calling out to me, breaking me out of my mental conversation. Glancing around, I found Fenric had directed his gaze at me again, and it was not at all friendly. “Perhaps you wish to challenge?”
I definitely do not wish to do so. However, before I could open my mouth to decline, Miren spoke up angrily from next to me. “He’s not scared of you, Fenric!” You too, Aurivy? Really? I looked over to her and found her smiling back, her face flushed slightly.
“Well, why not prove it then?” The kitsune man chuckled darkly, twirling his staff in one hand. “Or does he wish to cower like a scared pup?”
Terra… How much of my strength can I use without causing a big incident? I asked curiously, not paying much attention to the rather obvious provocation. Turning away this fight was likely to cause problems for Miren and Rinn, but at the same time I didn’t want to go overboard with my Godking aura in effect.
Uhm… One stat at sixty percent, the rest sealed. Or all stats at twenty percent. Anything more than that, and you’ll have the entire city feeling your presence. Her answer came after a brief pause, and I knit my brows together as I decided how I’d do this. Of course, the answer seemed fairly obvious after a short consideration.
When he saw me stepping forward, Fenric sneered. “And so, are you going to ask for a weapon?” As he asked that, he held the staff in one arm behind himself diagonally, his forearm flat against it.
I really didn’t have enough experience with any weapon other than a sword, but I naturally couldn’t use a sword in this era. “I’ll do this unarmed.” I answered with a shake of my head, entering what even I knew to be a sloppy combat stance. Note to self, get martial arts lessons from Terra after I go back.
I heard a brief chuckle before he charged forward, seeming to start the match. Inwardly, I focused on my Keeper wisdom, weakening the wall around it to let roughly half of it through, and with it my ki. My body was flooded with energy by the time he reached me, to the point where I barely even noticed his initial jab with his staff.
Bringing my attention back to Fenric, I saw a brief flicker of surprise cross his face before his expression became cold. Flexing his thumb, he caused the staff to shoot back towards him, and with his other arm grabbing the back of it he whipped it around in a wide arc to bash against me like he had with the ursa.
Unfortunately for him, his actions were too slow. With my ki flooding every corner of my body, he seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace. It did not take hardly any effort for me to reach up and grab the end of the approaching staff. As I suspected before, I could feel a trace of ki inside of it.
Clenching my fist, I heard a small explosion as the end of the staff shattered, Fenric’s face paling as he felt his ki being torn apart by an opposing force. Taking one step forward, I placed the palm of my hand against his chest, and before he could recover, I pushed.
I didn’t want to kill him, so I held back quite a lot of my ki from that attack, but still he went flying like a bolt from the collision. He sailed over a nearby building, and we could all hear a crash from where he landed. Unlike before, there were no cheers or booing from the crowd. Everyone seemed to grow silent as they stared at the spot where Fenric had stood a moment ago.
However, the silence was broken by two howls that rang out in unison. I turned and saw the two sister goddesses, each with a hand to her chest while her head was tilted back. With them as the trigger, other howls soon rang out, followed by the familiar chorus that I heard in the theater before, though this time I stood at the center of it.
“To the new Sharay!” One man cried out after the ‘applause’ had ended, his voice echoed by countless others. I could only shake my head, raising a hand to silence them.
“I am a traveler passing through. I cannot be your Sharay.” I explained, restraining my Keeper wisdom once again to return me to normal levels. It would have been nice to fight him normally, but I doubted that he was below level one hundred, and likely had almost all of his levels in combat classes.
Miren and Rinn stepped forward with wide smiles on their faces. “Sorry, Garn, Mitchell’s right. He just came this week to visit us for this D’ka, and is leaving to go home soon.” Rinn explained, reaching down to hold my hand as she did.
The lycan man who had started the previous shout shook his head with a sigh. “Nothing we can do about it, then. Still, it was nice to see someone knock Fenric on his ass for once.” With that, there was a series of laughter in the crowd as numerous people agreed with his statement.
“Yeah, believe me I agree.” Rinn said, a knowing smile on her face. “Anyways, it looks like this Sha is over now. Someone might want to call for a healer for Fenric. It sounded like he landed in the stable.” You have your stables this far inside the city?
Another roar of laughter rang out as Miren and Rinn dragged me back into the streets. Thankfully, nobody seemed to follow us after that, and the crowd began to disperse. “Phew, I was worried for a minute there.” Miren said with a small grin. “I guess this is the part where you go back, huh?”
I thought about it for a moment, glancing between the two of them. “Are there any more sights for me to see before I go?” While I wanted to keep a low profile… I had spent so long keeping Ryone’s incarnation company, the least I could do was see these two for the rest of the day, right?
Hearing my question, the expressions of both sisters brightened at once. With a happy laugh, they began dragging me around town once again. We spent the rest of the day running from one area of the city to the next, trying everything from alcohol to the latest fashion. Of course, we didn’t have much to barter with, so we mostly stuck to the free samples… but still.
That night, after everything calmed down and people were beginning to return to their homes, I decided to do the same thing. Once I was secluded in an empty corner hidden behind a building, I returned to the Admin Room. I felt my mind clearing instantly from the remnants of the booze I had consumed, and found myself immediately tackled by a small projectile halfling.
“Thank you so much, I had so much fun today!” Aurivy said with a wide smile as she wrapped her arms around me, almost knocking me to the floor.
I gave a small chuckle as I reached down, patting her head. “I had fun, too, Aurivy. Though maybe next time, try not to get me into a fight?” I scolded her with a teasing tone.
“Aww… but that jerk totally had it coming to him. Besides, I knew nothing would really happen to you. If he tried anything dirty, big sis would have killed him on the spot.” Although she had a bright smile as she said that, I noticed some rather scary words mixed in there.
“Just… what levels do your incarnations have?” I couldn’t help but ask that, noticing how easy she seemed to believe Terra could have killed Fenric in the middle of a big fight like that.
“Hmm… I’m a bit behind. I’ve got thirty-eight in monk, sixteen in martial artist, five for scholar, and twenty for bard. Terra has fifty in assassin, ten in bard, twenty for monk, ten in mage, and almost sixty in rogue~. Since she’s not really learning anything new, she can’t get the scholar class, so she devoted her levels to more ‘practical’ classes.” Those aren’t practical classes, Aurivy. She’s a blade dancer.
I wanted to retort that, but couldn’t. I mean, it’s not surprising that Terra was able to get those kinds of levels. Even if she can only use the knowledge known by the inhabitants, that still means that she knows how to train every class up to the limits its been trained so far. I can only really look at that assortment of classes as her wanting to protect Aurivy.
...That’s not to say that I won’t be looking back at what Terra’s done as Rinn later to confirm, though. Shaking my head, I patted Aurivy’s hair again before looking around the room. “So, where is she anyways?” I asked, remembering that I still needed to learn martial arts from her. Though, if this was going to be anything like when I learned to forge… or when I learned magic… Do I have to do this again?
...Yeah… yeah I do.