Confrontation — Part 1
Editors: Joker, Speedphoenix, Sebas Tian
“Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready!? The first long awaited semi-final match is about to begin!” The master of ceremonies’ statements led the crowd to go wild. Their zealous cheers were filled with a fiery fervor. “In one corner, we have this year’s most arrogant man, a fearless fighter who’s shown us that his insults are backed by pure power! Ypsiloooooonnn!”
Although the crowd was roaring, I remained silent. Not a word left my mouth as I made my way centre stage.
“And in the other corner, we have a man with limbs as elastic as rubber, a man capable of attacking from every direction without even the slightest warning, a man that has clawed his way through to the semi-finals with nothing but trickery and deception! I give you… Mejaaaaaaaaaaaagrrryyyyy!”
Opposite me entered a man with limbs I could only label absurd. His legs were as long as the Nile, but not even they stood out as much as his arms. They were just that bizarre. He had an extra elbow where his wrist was supposed to be, and it looked like it was probably double-jointed. The fact that half his face was shrouded by a veil made out of linen only contributed to his creepiness.
I knew who he was, but not because I had ever met or seen him. The only reason I recognized him was because the king had described his features to me in detail ahead of time; he was one of the contestants that I was supposed to be wary of.
“What the hell did you do?” He greeted me with an oddly high pitched giggle. “I got asked to do someone a favour and kick your ass. And it was a formal request too.” I stayed silent. I didn’t bother answering him. It didn’t take long for him to realize, so he ended up sighing and shrugging in disappointment. “You’re really ruining the fun for me, you know that? Oh well, whatever. I was planning to kick your ass either way!”
“Let the match… begin!”
The moment the gong rang was the moment I moved. I kicked off with all the force I could muster and swung Enne, who was still sheathed, at his face.
My movements were so fast that he probably thought I had teleported. Adding to that effect was the lack of precedence. I had never done anything even remotely close to charging in right off the bat. The combination of my speed and his lack of readiness threw him off. That said, daddy long legs hadn’t made it all the way to the semis because he was lucky. He proved that he was more than just a weakling by getting his shit together and throwing up a quick guard.
His reaction came late, so his guard ended up being more committed than it otherwise would have been. As such, he wasn’t able to do anything about me lowering my blade and intentionally throwing off its trajectory in order to exploit a hole in his defense.
Enne’s sheath drilled itself into his still-open torso and sent him flying into a wall outside the arena’s bounds. And that was it. He was unconscious. His body slid to the ground as his mind was shrouded in darkness.
“T-The battle is over! The winner is Ypsilooooooooooon!” The crowd went wild as the master of ceremonies announced my victory. They seemed to find my display exciting despite the fact that the battle had only lasted for an instant.
On a normal day, I would have turned around and made my way off stage. But today wasn’t a normal day. I had long decided that I was going to stay right where I was even after I finished beating my opponent. Because frankly, I wasn’t here for him to begin with. I simply didn’t have the time to waste on him or any other punk.
That was why I ignored both the crowd and the tournament’s staff. I grabbed the sword that daddy long legs never drew, reeled back, and launched it like a javelin. Its blade rattled as it spun through the air. But its course stayed true. It continued to fly straight towards the cocky douchewad that the fiends called their chief.
Both the emcee and the audience gasped in surprise, but carrot top didn’t. He remained calm as he shifted his head to the side and avoided the attack. In fact, he didn’t break posture. He kept his face propped up with a fist all the way through.
The way the blade impaled the fancy looking chair he was sitting in proved that the attack would have been fatal had it landed.
That was why the audience froze. Their eyes were stuck to me like glue. But I ignored them. I continued to focus my gaze on the asshole I was after as I balled my hand into a fist with my thumb sticking out, turned it upside down, and lowered it.
It was a challenge, a series of actions that could not have possibly been interpreted as anything else. I was telling him to get his ass into the arena so I could whoop it.
Even I knew that my actions were unforgivable. In my last life, they would have led to a swift and immediate arrest. And while this world wasn’t the world that I was born in, its ruleset wasn’t all that different. I wouldn’t have been surprised to discover that the fiends already had a guillotine with my name on it. If they were human.
This, however, was the demon realm, where might made right. Rather than condemning my crimes, the demons welcomed them.
“What pride! What hubris! Can you believe this man!? Of all people to challenge, Ypsilon has challenged Lord Gojim to a fight! What bravery! It appears that he truly knows no fear, ladies and gentlemen!” The emcee started screaming excitedly. And the crowd followed suit.
“Gojim! Gojim! Gojim! Gojim!”
They began chanting fuckface’s name over and over again. It was only a few people at first, but their hype spread like a plague and soon infected the entire audience. I was well aware that they just wanted to see their boss kick the shit out of the cocky, disrespectful insurgent that had challenged him. They wanted him to turn me into a bloody corpse. But that was fine.
Because it meant that they wanted the fight to happen. That was what mattered.
Carrot top couldn’t back out. Not when this many people were urging him to take me down. Refusing to get on stage would only make him seem like a pathetic weakling. And even if it didn’t, the blackhearted schemer I had as my ally would make sure that it ended up that way. I knew for a fact that he would be more than happy to publicly shame and defame his political rival. If he backed down, then rumours of his cowardice were sure to spread throughout the demon realm like wildfire.
His only other choice was to do as I wished and fight me like a man. Come on dude, hurry up already, goddammit. Get the fuck down here so I can tear out your fucking spine!
“Gojim! Gojim! Gojim! Gojim!”
“Idiots, the lot of them.” Gojim, the chief of the fiends, scoffed as the demon realm’s people called his name.
“You must not accept, chief! I have no idea what he is plotting, but there is no sense in needlessly putting yourself in harm’s way!”
“I know,” snorted the chief. He pulled the sword from his seat without rising to his feet and chucked it back into the arena.
Gojim was well aware that the man that had challenged him was dangerous. The way he fought had proven that he was amongst the mightiest of warriors. Even though he had been doing his best to hold back. Never once had the mysterious masked entity gone all out. He had almost seemed to treat the tournament like a game. He was fighting for sport and doing his utmost to use as little strength as possible in order to avoid killing the other contestants. There was no doubt in Gojim’s mind that he would be many, many times stronger in a real fight, a duel to the death with no holds barred. Because the reports he had received from his subordinates had already confirmed it as fact.
“Wow, Gojim. Planning on running away already?” said Phynar. The king had a huge grin on his face. He wasn’t even trying to hide it.
“Is this another one of your silly schemes?”
“Not this time, no. I’m just about as surprised as you are.” The king laughed. “He sure is an interesting one, isn’t he?”
Like Gojim, Phynar had been more or less blindsided by Yuki’s sudden declaration. That said, it wasn’t as if he had been caught completely off guard. His men had long informed him that Yuki had been seething with rage ever since he had returned from wherever he had gone during the day. The king hadn’t seen the extent of Yuki’s bloodlust for himself, but he had more or less determined that the mercenary he had hired would end up doing something. That said, he still wished that he would have been informed of Yuki’s decision ahead of time. It would have allowed him to devise a more concrete plan of action. Still, it wasn’t as if he was losing anything. Phynar was sure to gain from the scenario that had unfolded regardless; another card had been added to his hand.
“Well, you’re free to run away with your tail tucked between your legs if you’d like,” said the king. “I’m sure a pampered, sheltered princess like you would hate getting hurt, huh?”
“Hah! You think that I would run from a challenge? Nonsense!”
“C-Chief, please do not engage in this act of foolishness!”
His aide’s call fell on deaf ears; Gojim had fallen for the taunt. He got to his feet, shook off the man that was desperately trying to stop him, and leapt onto the stage.