A moist smell mixed along with sweat and blood. Even Calian, who used to spend his years smelling this kind of stench, couldn’t stop himself from furrowing his brow at it.
A young man stepped towards Calian and put up two fingers.
“Entrance fee. 2 Floren.”
Calian nodded and gave the young man 2 coins, and the young man gave a nameplate with a number written on it in return. The number plate was his calling in this place, instead of his own name.
Calian took the plate without any words and stepped inside.
Inside the gambling den was a wide steel cage, and inside two men were starting a fighting match. One had a black headband, while the other had a white one on their head.
Around fifty or so gamblers were on the outside of the cage, looking at the fighters.
As he was looking around the gambling den standing in place, one person came up to Calian.
She was a young girl with silver hair dressed in a small one-piece dress with a deep cleavage.
Calian frowned at the girl wearing something that didn’t match her age. It was clear that she was wearing it not because she wanted to, but because she had no other choice.
The young girl soon wrapped her hands around Calian’s arm and pointed at an empty seat to go sit down together with.
‘Looks like she can’t speak.’
As Calian sat down, the girl took off for a bit and then came back to him, shoving a sort of tray to Calian’s hands.
The tray was split in half by color, with one side black and the other white. It wasn’t too difficult to figure out what the tray was used for after realizing the situation.
You bet on black or white, and if you win you would win double your money and if you lost, you would lose triple the amount of money.
The rules also stated that you cannot bet after 3 minutes had passed after the fight began. It reassures the gamblers somewhat by stating that they would never do such a thing as fight fixing.
Calian laughed at the reassurance that they were giving.
‘I’m sure that they cannot do match fixing. There’s plenty of knights in the city, so they knew they could be one of the people watching as well. In anycase, you double your win, but lose triple your amount if you lose, huh. What a ripoff.’
Staring at the fighting arena and the men fighting for a bit, Calian pulled out 3 gold coins and put them down on the white side of the tray.
He was betting that the man with the white headband was going to win.
The young girl wrote down the number that Calian was given along with the 3 florens that he betted, gave the note to Calian and went back to her station.
Calian turned his gaze again. The man with the white headband was stunned by an attack that the black headband man landed on him.
“You should have gone lower!”
“Be careful of the elbow, you stupid!”
He heard yellings and swearings of those types from the crowd. Calian calmly closed his eyes instead as if he didn’t even need to see the outcome of the match.
Some time passed.
With a loud sound of a body landing, there were simultaneous sounds of cheering and jeering. As he opened his eyes, he saw the man with the black headband on the floor. It was hard to even make out his face, as he was beaten to a pulp.
The young girl who took Calian’s money a little while ago came over, took Calian’s piece of paper and then went back. It was a certificate that the man with the white headband that Calian bet 3 floren on has won and that the amount double of that will be paid to him.
“Okay then! Bloodsplattered Zerad has won again today! Now then, today’s third match shall begin!”
Since he said that the third match will begin, it seems that the first match had ended before Calian stepped inside the place. The man with the black headband was dragged away, and the man with the white one staggered out of the steel cage.
There was no short break as the next match began immediately afterwards, and the young girl that came to Calian before came to him again. This time, Calian bet on the black side of the tray. However, this time he didn’t bet money, but the certificate of 6 florens that he won from the previous match. The young girl wrote down what he had betted again and left. It took around 5 to 10 minutes for each fight, and Calian would each time bet the certificate of winnings onto the tray and predict who would win.
And so, the 10th round ended.
“The tenth round has ended. The winner is Steel Knee Panteron!”
The match host bellowed out his voice. Soon, the young girl walked over to him with the certificate of winnings over to him again, but her hands were slightly shaking.
It wasn’t hard for Calian to predict who the winner would be. So therefore, the 3 florens he betted in the first place already multiplied to over 1500 florens, a massive amount of money.
Calian felt the gaze of the match host, as if he had received word about the gambler who was winning the bets constantly one after another. Calian simply gestured with his head to him.
The gesture meant ‘go on with the next match already’. It was because he felt anxious and impatient.
‘I didn’t come here to gamble in the first place.’
Kyrie still didn’t arrive. Perhaps he got the wrong information, or perhaps the timing wasn’t correct. Or, perhaps he already lost Kyrie since he had left in the first match before Calian arrived.
In any case, the match host had to begin the next match for the impatient gamblers, so the host opened his mouth again.
“Now then. This is tonight’s final match. The winnings for the bets for this match is actually quadrupled! I’m sure many people here have been eagerly waiting for this match!”
As he spoke, the crowd started to cheer loudly as if agreeing with the host, and the match host bellowed loudly as if carried by the crowd’s mood.
“Introducing! Blood Hammer Shawn!”
A giant man with muscular body stepped in the steel cage, stomping his giant feet several times on the floor and then lifting both his hands into the air, letting out a warcry. The crowd all cheered at the sight.
“And his match for tonight, the man who never gives up!”
The final round.
The fact that he may actually not appear even at the final round of today…Calian nearly stopped breathing at the thought. As the match host spoke, his voice started to overlap with the memories he had set aside since long ago.
“To this date, he had lost ten rounds to him, but only just! He may not have ever won against Shawn, but will he have the same outcome today!?”
‘At that time, I was shackled to a place where one earns money through fighting.’
The challenger stepped into the steel cage. He had a black headband on. And above that headband, was his clearly waterish blue colored hair. Calian flinched at the sight.
“But don’t count him out yet. He came back much stronger than he was just yesterday!”
‘But after my sister died, I escaped and left Kyrisis’.
The challenger lifted his head and looked around. His gaze went towards where Calian went, and thanks to that Calian was able to clearly see who he was.
One eye blue, while the other black. Odd colored eyes.
He had found him.
The young girl stared at Calian. It was because the amount of money that Calian put on the bet was just too big.
What Calian just put down on the plate was the betting win certificate. He had betted 1500 florens. The winner he was betting on was, of course, Kyrie.
A man that was standing by butted in.
“Oy, that’s a lot of money ya know. Don’t need to throw it away like that. That bastard over there never won even once. You should bet on white instead, though the fight will still be entertaining.”
But then, the person next to him disagreed. It seemed like he was betting the same result as Calian was.
“No way! He’s definitely going to win today! He could have easily won if he was just one second faster yesterday.”
Calian then realized that there were quite a number of people who were betting for the black headband even though the announcer said he never won a fight up to now.
The young girl who was holding the plate stopped hesitating, wrote on the certificate paper and then went back up to the counter.
As the fight had just begun, massive silence covered the crowd as they all watched.
Kyrie was also quite tall for a boy of seventeen age, but in front of Shawn he was no different than a kid in comparison.
Shawn, who was easily over two meters in height and massive in muscle size, swung his hands at Kyrie, his arm muscles bulged, looking just like how Raven’s legs were.
As the arm swung, the sound of air being cut was heard, and Kyrie tilted his body a bit to avoid it. But then, Shawn followed it up with his left arm swinging up from below. Kyrie took a step backwards.
As he completely avoided both attacks, Shawn quickly retracted his hands and then stuck out his leg. As the speed of the kick was just too fast, it seemed like there was no time for him to avoid it. Just as if Kyrie thought the same thing, he lifted both his arms to block the attack.
Even though he was prepared to block the attack, a massive sound of thud was heard as Kyrie’s upper torso tilted by the force.
As Kyrie took another step back from the attack, Shawn stepped in and once again kicked at him.
Quickly, Kyrie grabbed Shawn’s leg that was coming towards him. Even though he did so to make Shawn’s balance become toppled, it was impossible to do so due to the difference in body size.
Instead of being toppled, Shawn swung his fist at Kyrie’s hip who was still holding onto his leg.
Kyrie quickly let go of Shawn’s leg and stepped away from him, creating some space between them.
He then dodged Shawn’s fist that was coming lightning fast, and countered by spinning his body once and landing the back of his feet to Shawn’s chin.
Shawn’s chin swung to the opposite direction, and a cracking noise was heard.
Shawn stepped back a bit to grab a hold of his head and regain balance, then charged at Kyrie again, this time grabbing Kyrie’s hips and slamming it against the chain link wall.
Kyrie’s body made a loud thud sound as it was slammed against the chain link wall. Shawn then swung his fist hard into Kyrie’s stomach.
Kyrie also retaliated by punching upwards at Shawn’s chin that was kicked by Kyrie previously.
Around twenty exchanges of blows and attacks happened between them.
Shawn’s nose was bleeding due to the number of kicks from Kyrie’s nose. Shawn’s left hand was also shaking lightly, looking like it was damaged when Kyrie locked his arm and bent it.
However, Kyrie was not in a normal state as well. Kyrie stepped forward towards Shawn, but his balance wobbled a bit.
It seemed that the pain of getting the back of his neck hit from Shawn a moment ago was affecting him. His eye was completely swollen from punches, and his lips had ripped wounds as well.
“Looks like he’s completely weak without his sword.”
Calian smirked and mumbled to himself. He spoke as if he was taking this lightheartedly, but his real thoughts were different.
Seeing the famous Swordmaster Kyrie fighting barehanded like that made him feel too annoyed.
As he thought that, Shawn cut through the air and charged to the front of Kyrie. His right hand swung out towards Kyrie’s face.
Kyrie quickly lifted his arm to block it, but at the same time Shawn’s left hand slammed into Kyrie’s hip.
Kyrie coughed loudly, leaning his body against the chain link wall. His shoulder was shaking, indicating that he was definitely hit directly at the vital point of his body.
Calian was barely able to stop himself from standing up from his seat immediately.
Shawn charged in. Kyrie lifted his foot, giving a powerful kick to Shawn, and then charged into Shawn as he staggered from the kick.
Right afterwards, he landed a punch right on Shawn’s solar plexus, but it didn’t seem like Shawn was hurt that much from the hit.
Shawn tightened his fist and also slammed it into Kyrie’s abdomen just like Kyrie did to Shawn, as if to make fun of how weak Kyrie’s punch is and to show the difference in strength.
Kyrie once again staggered his body, perhaps due to the fact that the punch was near the area that Shawn landed a punch just before.
Shawn smirked, and tightened his fist again. Kyrie was barely able to right himself to keep his body standing. Shawn charged in, and instantly started raining a dozen punches at Kyrie.
At first, Kyrie was able to block the first few, but afterwards he wasn’t able to hold up the defence and was mercilessly bashed over and over.
Although he was able to barely get a hit back at Shawn once or twice in the middle of the attacks, it didn’t affect Shawn too much.
Soon, blood started coming out of Kyrie’s mouth.
Calian couldn’t stand it any longer, and he let out a shout towards Kyrie.
“Kyrie! You have the habit of lowering your shoulders before attacking!”
Calian’s voice cut through the crowd, making Kyrie flinch his shoulders in surprise for a moment.
Kyrie let down his arm that was blocking Shawn’s fist. Then, he put strength at the tip of his hand and balled it up to a fist. The muscles in his arms tightened and bulged from the back of his hand all the way to the top of his shoulder.
Kyrie launched his fist straight at Shawn’s stomach. Even though all that had happened was that he’d heard one bit of advice, this time his shoulders moved properly as he attacked.
Shawn’s feet took a step back. He wrapped his hands around his stomach unconsciously, as if the shock was quite powerful. As Kyrie’s counter was shown to be effective, the crowd’s cheer inside the gambling den rocked the house.
Taking advantage of this sudden surge of energy in him, this time it was Kyrie that landed multiple quick attacks onto Shawn.
Landing straight hooks, uppercutting his chin, roundhouse kicking his face and so on, his endless amount of attacks that saw no end kept continuing.
Then in the end,
Shawn took a few steps backwards, his eyes upturned, and collapsed onto the ground with his arms and legs stretched out. The announcer quickly counted down the numbers, but Shawn didn’t get back up as he seemed to have fainted.
“W-What a shocking result!”
The announcer hesitated his words as if he couldn’t believe it, but soon regained his composure and yelled again in an excited manner, seeing Kyrie win for the very first time.
“Finally! Kyrie has won!”
The crowd roared. The number of happy cheers from people who won by betting on Kyrie today was endless.
“Our final winner of today’s matches is Monster Eye Kyrie!”
Kyrie let out a big sigh of relief, then turned his head. Towards the direction where he heard the young man’s voice. Although he couldn’t see properly because his hood was covered, he felt like he was meeting his gaze with him even still.
‘I wonder who it is.’
Just as Kyrie suspected, Calian was staring at Kyrie from under the hood as well. Calian chuckled to himself.
“Bloody Eyes, and now Monster Eye, huh.”
He then looked around for a bit. He was waiting for someone.
“Should be here any moment now.”
Just as he suspected.
The young girl that was supposed to bring forth the certificate of payment for the winnings of his bet didn’t arrive. Instead of the young girl, a large man as big as Shawn came next to him instead. Rather than giving him the certificate, he delivered a message to him.
“There is someone who wishes to see you. Please come with me.”
As things progressed just as he thought, Calian stood up from his seat without any sign of worry or hesitation. He then followed the large man.
Original Translation: Wordexcerpt
Edited By: Tani Andris
Let me know if you spot any mistakes!