Ultimate Level 1

Chapter 97: Colosseum
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Chapter 97: Colosseum

The crowds had moved steadily toward the massive Colosseum inside the center of the capital.

Max knew he wasnt the only one in his group surprised at how large the building was. It was at least one hundred yards tall and five times as wide. The circular structure was made entirely of stone and had entrances all around it.

Guards stood outside each entrance, reminding the citizens and guests that no fighting was permitted inside and that breaking the rules wasnt worth the consequences.

The entry fee was one copper for the highest level and increased in price as one got closer to the arena floor.

We are going to level three, Fowl shouted as they weaved their way through the crowd. It will take us a bit to get there!

Max held onto Tanilas hand as they fought against the steady flow of spectators, each trying to find a place to sit.

A loud bell rang out across the area twenty minutes ago, letting everyone know that the first fight would occur in thirty minutes.

One gold later, the four of them were seated in a better row than Fowl had expected, the closest set of seats in the third section.

This is going to be amazing! exclaimed Fowl. We should be in for a treat. I saw the roster for tonight's matches earlier this week.

Max had seen Fowl stopping at the posted information inside the guild hall multiple times the last few days but hadnt given it much thought. Watching other people fight had never been something he had enjoyed before. Now, though, he understood why it would be good to see such things.

Someday, Ill have to fight others if I want to live

A group of performers entertained the audience as the last few minutes wound down, and soon the bells pealed again, ringing out five times, as the crowd roared with excitement before a man dressed in a multi-colored suit with a massive hat moved to a platform near the box where the two queens sat.

Max could barely distinguish the twin sisters sitting on their thrones, waving and smiling at the audience. He had heard about how their family had reigned over this kingdom for generations. The stories of their kind but firm hand had kept many from ever considering causing problems within their lands. In school, he had learned of a town leveled, with no stone left standing. They had tried rebelling, complaining about taxes, and some other things no one talked about. Both queens had arrived along with their armies, and whatever had occurred wasnt recorded beyond the utter destruction of the town of ten thousand people.

You ok, Seth?

Max realized Tanila was looking at him as he stared off at the women.

Yeah, sorry, just remembering what I know about both the queens. Queens Macy and Molly.

Tanila nodded and glanced at them. They are an interesting pair, for sure. I cannot say the elves find them to be the best to work with, but they are quite powerful.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

The mans voice carried across the entire Colosseum, silencing the crowds momentarily.

Tonight, our Queens have prepared a set of fights to entertain and delight! The matches will be until submission or when one contestant is disabled! Tonight, hopefully, no one will die. But rest assured, those of you with the thirst for the real risks. In two days, we will host fights that allow for those willing to fight to the death!

The crowd roared. The volume was overwhelming. Max held his ears, his sonar skill suffering from how loud it was.

He felt Tanilas hand on his shoulder and saw her looking at his face. Wincing, he just nodded, knowing it would pass.

After five more minutes of the man talking and building up the excitement, the night gave way to the first fight for the evening.

A massive crystal sphere appeared in the air, thirty meters above the colosseum floor, and Max realized he could see both of the first combatants preparing to fight.

What is that? Max asked, talking loudly in Tanilas ear.

Its a vision globe but more powerful than most. It allows everyone to see the action regardless of where they are sitting. I believe only three exist that are this big.

Max nodded, amazed at how clearly it allowed him to see the two fighters.

Tonight's first match is between Lea, the Dual-Wielding Princess, and Luke, the Axe-Wielding Barbarian of the north!

Those are both tower climbers! exclaimed Fowl, his anticipation evident by how he bounced in his seat and leaned forward.

What is going to happen? Max asked, ignoring the crowd's roar as both fighters crossed their weapons and gave a slight bow to the other.

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Two axes versus two swords! It is going to be mayhem!

Looking at the two fighters, Max tried to understand how two people with the amount of power both obviously possessed could fight without fear of killing the other.

So how do

Shh Fowl cut Max off and pointed at the orb. Just watch.

A bell rang, and the fighters closed the twenty yards between them in a blink of an eye. The speed at which they moved was almost beyond what Max considered humanly possible.

Their weapons collided, and the sound reached where he sat, audible even over the crowd's roar.

Both were hacking, slicing, stabbing, kicking, and maneuvering against the other. They were a blur, moving so fast it felt impossible to watch. Glancing down at the floor, Max realized they were moving faster than the orb displayed. It slowed their movements enough that everyone could just barely see the action.

Sparks flew as axes collided with the pair of swords. The warrior Lea moved with a nimbleness that was hard to imagine. Max had witnessed Dexic and her strength, but she had not moved like this.

Two spinning cuts came from her sword, one catching Luke in the thigh and leaving a gash.

He ignored the injury, and his axes became a whirlwind of strikes that forced Lea back, staggering from the hits that crashed upon her raised swords.

As she retreated, his foot caught her in the chest, sending her sliding back ten yards along the dirt of the arena floor.

The crowd erupted, and Max heard Fowl whistling with the rest of the Colosseum.

Luke dashed at the woman who prepared for his attack, not moving until the last moment.

Did she Max asked, unable to finish as Luke vanished from the arena after taking two swords to his back.

Safety necklaces! Fowl shouted over the cheering coming from the crowd.

Lea stood up, flicking the blood from her swords and bowing to her enthusiastic supporters.

The noise continued for a bit before the announcer cut it off.

Ladies and gentlemen! What a fight! This shows you all just a fraction of the power of our tower climbers! Everyone, please give one more cheer for Lea and the amazing display of her talents and skills!

Walking back toward the inn, Max tried to understand what he had witnessed. The three matches with tower climbers had been an actual display of the power he wanted. He had struggled to stay in his seat, knowing that on the floor was a power he could only imagine.

You going to be okay? Tanila asked, grabbing Maxs shoulder before he ran into someone.

Snorting, Max nodded. It was no, it is, something I cant wait to achieve.

Fowl howled, ignoring the looks of those walking along the streets with them. The moon was out, and every lamp was lit as people headed home to their beds. We have a long way to go before we can hope to be that strong. The Crusher is above the thirtieth floor of the tower.

The memory of that man, swinging his massive two-handed maul like a twig, blocking every attack that came at him and only needing one blow to send his opponent to the safety of the recovery room.

That is an interesting system they use with those necklaces. I wonder how long that took to figure out.

I heard stories of failures in the past, but it has been a few generations. It is frowned upon if one cuts off a leg or arm, and if the wound is deep enough, the colosseum usually activates in time to save their leg or arm. No one likes having to waste an elixir on reattaching those.

Wincing, Max imagined how bad that must be.

What about heart attacks?

Fowl shook his head. Usually, they can still heal the person in time. There are teams of healers ready to bestow healing at a different level than you have ever seen. They outlawed targeting the neck, and, as you noticed, no one went for the head.

Max nodded. He had commented on that once and heard from a stranger in the seat behind him that those werent allowed. What about in two days? They said those fights were to the death.

Fowl spat on the ground and nodded. Im not a fan of those, but some are. Typically, they are between factions or bad blood between adventurers. There are also the few who attempt it for the prizes.

Prizes?

Fowl nodded. There is betting on all the fights. I may have come out ahead on the betting tonight. The fighters earn a small portion of all bets, but the ones who compete in the fights that end in death can make a fortune with a win.

Or die, Batrire grumbled. Its brutal. Ive seen those fights before, back in the dwarven Colosseum, and never have I wanted to be a part of them.

Yer a healer, you couldnt fight if you wanted! protested Fowl. You could on one of the rare team battles, but those havent happened in a decade.

Seeing Max preparing to ask, Fowl held his hand up. Team fights are always between factions, usually after a huge confrontation in the tower. Sometimes accidents happen in the tower, but most often, a challenge is given by the offended faction. Some ignore these challenges, but after a while, the pressure becomes too great, and a fight happens. Most are to the death, but occasionally

He trailed off, seeing the look Batrire was giving him, and stopped talking.

That bad?

Turning on her heel, Batrire stopped and looked at Max, who had halted. Dying is bad. Killing is bad. Seeing both because someone got upset over a monster kill or an item is foolish. Grown men and women fighting over something like that make no sense. ๐‘“๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘’๐”€๐“ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐‘’๐“ต.๐’ธ๐‘œ๐˜ฎ

Having finished her short tirade, she spun and began walking quickly in the direction of their inn.

Fowl jogged to catch up while Max stood there watching his friend walk away upset.

Its not your fault, Tanila said, giving Max a gentle squeeze on his shoulder. Shes a healer. She cannot stand to see people die. Especially for something like that.

Max nodded, but inside, he knew something was eating Batrire up internally.

He just wasnt sure what.

An elbow broke his train of thought.

Seth, are you listening to me?

No, sorry, I was off in my head.

Tanila nodded and got Max moving toward the inn. I was ensuring you werent thinking of doing anything stupid this weekend.

Max shook his head and then realized what she was asking. The idea flooded his mind, and the hunger he had fought back started to take over. Wincing, he shook his head again. I wasnt until you mentioned it. Now

Dont, she said, her voice louder than usual. Dont go down that path.

Max nodded and smiled. I wont.

As they walked in silence, Max heard the voice over and over.

This is our chance. Who knows what we could gain...

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