Chapter 4: Slaughter in the Coliseum
The Coliseum was one of the more popular places in the underworld of Talus City. It was controlled by the Zhangs, and many wealthy families and nobles would come to see it. Throughout the entire Azure Cloud Province, there were many people that knew about it.
This was a place where the nobles could use to kill time when they had time to lose. This was a place where they could watch a primal scene of carnage to their pleasure!
Despite being called Coliseum, it wasn’t a place where beasts were fought. The ones who would be fighting here would be humans!
Bai Yunfei’s eyes were wide-opened, and his mouth was dropped wide in astonishment as well. Even his entire body was shaking from the fear he felt—never did he ever imagine that such a brutal event would happen between humans.
At the center of the Coliseum, two red-colored figures were engaged in a fierce hand-to-foot battle. For the sake of prolonging the time spent fighting, weapons were generally disallowed from the Coliseum. If one wished to live, they would have to use their hands, arms, head, and even teeth. It was only when the enemy was rendered unable to stand would one be permitted to live. But being defeated generally meant death.
And it was because of that reason why these figures were red-colored, it was because they were drenched in their own blood! Not only was it their blood, it was the blood of their enemy as well.
One of the two combatants was built like a bear and had equally thick eyebrows. As of right now, he was panting heavily, and one of his eyes was already nothing more but a bloody mess. His left ear had already been torn away from his main body, and his body quivered from the pain and adrenaline coursing through his body. From his remaining one eye, one could see the madness in them. A primal beast-like howl could be heard before he raised one of his fists to attack the tinier man in front of him.
The other man was heavily injured as well, but he looked to be in a much better state of health than the other. When the first man came with his fist outstretched, the second chose not to dodge. Instead, he met the man’s fist with one of his own for a fist-to-fist collision!
In the moment the second man punched outwards, his right arm seemed to swell to some degree. And when the two fists collided, a miserable shriek erupted from the first man before he staggered backwards several steps. The fingers to his right hand were bent into abnormal shapes and blood could be seen seeping out from his wounds. There were some parts to his arm where bone could be seen jutting out!
The other man shook his hand to wipe off the blood from his arm—his opponent’s blood. He even licked up some of it in his excitement with his eyes emitting a terrifying glow. He didn’t look like a human in this one moment. Instead, he looked more like a beast ready to slaughter its prey.
The ‘audience’ spectating from the outer ring let out excited shouts and screams at the sight. In this one moment, these graceful and distinguished nobles had not even a single iota of that attitude to them. Their faces were flushed with excitement and their eyes were wide open as if afraid of missing even a second of the excitement happening in front of them.
Like Bai Yunfei, the entire audience felt their entire body start to tremble. But the only difference between the two was that they were trembling from excitement while Bai Yunfei was trembling from fear.
All around the two combatants in the field, there were multiple bloodstains soaked into the ground. Aside from the blood, there were also the carcasses of several other figures from the previous fights.
Above on the ‘terrace’, there were several luxuriously-looking chairs. Out of these chairs, three of them were occupied by three figures watching the event down below.
The one on the left was none other than Zhang Yang!
Still playing the part of an elegant young nobleman with his fan, Zhang Yang pointed at the middle-aged man down below and spoke to the person next to him, “Second master Zheng, how do you feel about this Coliseum of mine? It’s a place that makes the blood of any person boil, doesn’t it? That person there is the most fearsome person in this Coliseum, Direwolf….”
Right besides him was a purple-robed young man more handsome than Zhang Yang. Even as he was looking at the bloody scene down below, his face was emotionless. Nodding his head, he spoke, “Not bad, this person’s already in a half-awakened state. It won’t take much longer before he awakens his soulforce and becomes a full-fledged Soul Apprentice.” Even though he was complimenting the man, there was a slight tint of disapproval to his face, and he was clearly complimenting him half-heartedly.
Zhang Yang hadn’t paid too much attention to it however and laughed, “A mere Soul Apprentice, there’s no way such a character like that would be worthy of lord Zheng’s eye. The house of Zheng has so many geniuses and so many capable people, how could my own family even compare…?”
He knew that second master Zheng came directly from the capital and was without a doubt looking down on his own family. So the fact that he came to Talus City this time for the Coliseum was a wonder on its own. All Zhang Yang had to do was to make sure he served him well without offending him.
To their right was a person draped from head to toe in a black cloak so that his face couldn’t be seen. His hands were crossed against his chest and his head was bowed down onto it, making it seem as if he was sleeping….
By now, the battle in the ring was reaching a conclusion. Now that the bigger man was no longer a match for the middle-aged man, his movements were slower than before. The wounds on his body was growing more and more numerous, and the crowd’s chanting and cheering were growing in volume proportionally.
In the end, the middle-aged man brought the bigger man to the ground with a kick. With his right foot slamming onto the man’s chest, his two hands grabbed hold of the downed enemy’s arms and gave them a heavy pull!
Somehow, the arms of the man were torn off without resistance!!
A cheer unprecedented in volume erupted from the audience. Due to the gory nature of the scene, some of the female spectators turned their heads away from the sight. However, some of them glanced surreptitiously back towards the ring with excitement filling their red faces.
At last, the middle-aged man brought his foot down onto the man’s head, crushing it as if he would crush a watermelon….
Seeing the white and red substance splash out onto the ground, Bai Yunfei could hold it in no longer and begun to vomit in one of the corners to the room. Uncle Wu himself started to tremble and clutched at Bai Yunfei.
Even the more ferocious-looking men in the room started to fear for their lives as well.
At that moment, the wooden doors to this ‘prison’ was thrown open with a dozen armed figures walking into the room. The man leading the group came to a stop in front of them and barked, “Everybody, out! Take your weapons and prepare to fight for your freedom!”
The group of men looked at one another, but in the end, they filed out of the room one by one. Uncle Wu and Bai Yunfei were the last two to leave.
Whenever a person walked out from the room, someone standing at the gates of the room handed them a weapon from the war chest before letting them onto the ring.
Still at a loss for words, he and uncle Wu followed the rest of the group out. When it was their turn to receive a weapon, uncle Wu was given a shabby-looking hatchet.
Standing awkwardly by the door, Bai Yunfei waited for them to hand him a weapon of his own. But it seemed that this man was already let in on some sort of secret before hand and only smiled at Bai Yunfei. No weapon was given to Bai Yunfei.
“Where’s...where’s my weapon?”
“Haha, isn’t that a weapon there in your hands? What else do you want? Cut the crap and get on out already!” The man laughed as he eyed the brick in his hands. For the entire time, Bai Yunfei had been holding onto this brick as if it would help make him feel safer.
With an unceremonious kick, the man sent Bai Yunfei into the ring.
Chasing after uncle Wu, Bai Yunfei was still completely bewildered by the situation. Seeing so many nobles around him size up the other cellmates of his and himself, Bai Yunfei came to a startling realization.
“We’re nothing more than ants in their eyes…”
From up above on the terrace, Zhang Yang stood up and paced forward several steps to address the crowd. “Ladies and gentleman! Today we will be having an extra special event! The winner of the previous bout, Direwolf, will be fighting against this gruesome group of criminals!”
Finishing up his speech, Zhang Yang looked to the ring where he saw uncle Wu and Bai Yunfei standing in the back. A vile look of vindication and satisfaction entered his eyes at the sight of those two, but when he saw the brick in Bai Yunfei’s eyes, he was taken back for a brief moment. Then, a smile crept onto his face before he turned to give a praising look to one of his subordinates.
Uncle Wu had been the very first to turn around when heard the voice of Zhang Yang. Glaring hatefully at Zhang Yang, uncle Wu’s entire body shook and his eyes reflected a strong urge to kill.
Bai Yunfei had also recognized Zhang Yang. He could even sense the ridicule and vicious sentiments from Zhang Yang as if it were clear as day...
“It really is him, but why? Was it because I offended that young miss of his yesterday? But still. What gives him the right to decide whether I live or die? What gives him the right to look at me as if I’m an ant?”
There was a nagging sensation in his heart that refused to leave him, but it was quickly spreading throughout his heart and was ready to explode.
Pointing at Direwolf, Zhang Yang addressed the cellmates down below, “You are all inmates serving the death penalty. Your kind spend the days of your lives killing, burning, and looting. By all rights, you all should have been killed already, but today, I will give you one chance to live. You will all fight him to survive. Whomever remains standing after half an hour will be given pardon to leave!”
His words hadn’t been hard to understand. The spectators all started to whisper and point to one another with ‘interest’ showing clearly on their faces.
“So they’re all death row inmates. There’s so many of them with weapons, can that Direwolf even win?”
“Those ten at front are criminals for sure, but look at the two in the back. Aren’t those two just an old man and a kid?”
“Hey, look! What’s that the kid’s holding??”
“A brick...haha! It’s a brick!!”
After the men in the ring heard what Zhang Yang said, their eyes began to shine brightly with hope. No one wanted to die given the chance to live, after all. Gathering together, these dozen figures began to whisper something to one another.
Clearly, Direwolf had known about this special ‘event’, and stood where he was with his arms crossed against his chest. Even though he was up against plenty of armed people, he remained calm. His foot was still dripping with the blood from the enemy of the last round….
Looking away from Zhang Yang, uncle Wu’s eyes stared at Direwolf first, and then back to Bai Yunfei, “Yunfei, listen to me. We should hide off to the side. If he comes at us, we should run away. Don’t fight him, we’ll never win if we do. There’s thirty minutes, and this ring isn’t small. We just need to do our best to evade him, we may just be able to escape from this alive!”
Zhang Yang sat back down onto his chair and waved his hand, “Begin!”
Given the command, Direwolf revealed a cruel smile and slowly walked towards the group of people.
The criminals all clenched at their weapons tightly and spread themselves out. Each one of them were deathly afraid and thus didn’t dare to move forward.
Taking one step at a time towards them, Direwolf’s foot left a bloody splotch on the ground with each step he took due to the remains of the blood of his enemy. Since his entire body was drenched with blood, he looked like a demon walking away from a bloodbath. With each step he took, it felt like another step on each of the criminal’s hearts.
At last, one of the criminals succumbed to his fear and let out a primal roar, “He’s already injured from his last fight, if we all fight him now, we can kill him and live!”
When a situation was given too much push, there would ultimately be a pull. The entire group of people charged at him all at once with bloodshot eyes and frenzied actions to charge at Direwolf with their weapons!
A pejorative look entered Direwolf’s eyes before he brought his hand up to grab at an incoming spear. With a bit of force, the spear was robbed of its forward momentum before Direwolf then swung the spear with enough strength to knock the user into the two people besides him.
Then leaning towards the side, Direwolf managed to dodge a thrown shortblade. With a kick of his foot, he sent a mace flying away and then made use of a sweeping motion to down a group of people with the spear in his hand.
In a single instant, the entire group was completely broken apart!
What came next could only be said to be a one-sided slaughter fest...
Crushing their necks with a kick and snapping chests with a stamp, Direwolf then disarmed and took a sword into his hand to then bisect another three people by the waist with a single cut….
At first, the audience had been stunned by the scene. But after Direwolf killed several of the criminals, the audience erupted into a refreshed bout of cheers! Since they were accustomed to longer bouts of fighting, this sudden ‘delightful’ slaughter gave them a completely foreign but completely welcome sense of stimulation...
Even though they were given thirty minutes, only ten minutes had passed before over ten criminals were killed!
There were a few that threw down their weapons and ran away. But even they were overtaken in a few steps.
Whoever was overtaken was killed!
In the end, no one was left standing around Direwolf.
And then, he shifted his eyes to uncle Wu and Bai Yunfei!