Chapter 125: The Arena
Moving through the streets, Hui Yue expected the hordes of people to slowly thin out, allowing for easier access, however the opposite happened. The street heading towards the arena was especially crowded, filled with multiple groups of mercenaries and merchants.
Makeshift stalls were placed everywhere selling all the items which usually could be found at the Mercenary Guild and marketplaces. Since this was near the location where the fighting was to take place, items would be able to sell for a much higher price than usual.
Outside the arena was a large park with four smaller training grounds. These grounds were now used to hold matches between the lower ranked cultivators. The arena only allowed for the high seeded ones to enter.
The arena was not open to the public yet, as the workers were preparing it for the fights to come, however Hui Yue did not mind too much and he strode towards some of the fights which were occurring.
Looking at the battles, Hui Yue saw that they were all participating in group battles, the sort of battle which Hui Yue had never participated in when it came to friendly duels, and his interest was piqued.
The park area was spacious and many mercenaries would use it as a means to temper themselves, improve their skills, and earn some easy coins in their everyday life. Due to the vast area the park covered, it also made it a lot simpler to move around.
All the mercenaries moved around in groups and glared at their opposition, but no fights broke out, no fights other than those that had been scheduled.
Watching these group battles was an audience that was mostly citizens from all over Demon Dwelling Cave, while the mercenaries only went to watch their opponents fight.
Hui Yue had to admit that he felt like a tourist as he moved around to see the different fights, and he quickly got a good idea of what the fights were like.
Killing was in no way frowned upon. If one were to die, then that would be due to their own lack of ability. That was the first thing which Hui Yue noticed after watching the different ongoing battles.
While one of the battles was a beautiful display of techniques, the other three were clearly desperate life and death battles filled with blood and gore. The teams were all evenly matched in their cultivation base and actual strength, and this was why they were so fierce. Using stronger and stronger attacks they were being received and answered with similar strength, causing both sides to shed blood and push their limits.
While these teams were constantly pushing their boundaries, it would only take one small mistake to tilt the battle in their opponent’s favor, but their focus was pushed to the limit as the battle went on.
No judge would end it before one side had either died or forfeited, and these prolonged battles caused a gruesome scene to appear before the audience as the blood rushed down their bodies, leaving behind puddles on the ground. Watching these battles, Hui Yue instantly knew that a majority of the fighters would not survive the next couple of days.
Having seen the battles for a bit, Hui Yue turned around and moved towards the arena in the middle. He suddenly understood that this tournament was no where as gentle as the ones he had experienced before. Death was a very common occurrence.
Making it to the arena, four guards pushed out their chest as they cut off the way for Hui Yue, glaring at him with discontent in their eyes.
“No one allowed to enter.” One of the guards said with a booming voice, filled with spiritual energy. Spit flying every which way as he opened his mouth.
Looking at the man, Hui Yue was greatly irritated. Without waiting even a second, his hand shot up, stopping right in front of the guard’s eyes , shoving his golden emblem right into the face of the guard who had been spilling his saliva all over the shorter, but clearly stronger man.
At first, the guard was taken aback by the speed with which Hui Yue had reacted, however his surprise quickly turned to fear as he noticed the golden medallion which was in front of his eyes. His entire being changed from arrogant to underwhelming.
Bowing down and stuttering, the guard no longer dared to show any arrogance and Hui Yue rolled his eyes in disgust.
“Milord, I am sorry. Please forgive me! I had eyes but could not see!” The guard was almost kowtowing on the ground, but Hui Yue paid him no heed, and instead stepped by him not even wasting one glance at the young man.
Had these guards not belonged to the Mercenary Guild, and by extension to Xu Piao, then Hui Yue would have eradicated them long ago. Saliva was still visible on his cloak, and Hui Yue’s ice blue eyes were filled with annoyance as he found a small corner and while surrounded by his friends he replaced the cloak he had been wearing.
Upon removing his cloak, they all noticed his annoyance and a shiver ran through their spines as they all realized that their good friend was likely to use the tournament as a way to let go of his anger. As to why he had not touched the guard, they all knew that Xie Lan played a major role in that.
Xie Lan herself was also aware that she had been given quite a bit of face on behalf of the Mercenary Guild and she, herself, had been close to killing the guard as punishment for treating her master’s valued guests horribly.
In the end they all left the man alive and the guard knew that his neck had been saved by a hair’s breadth, causing him to suddenly change his character and show great hospitality to everyone who approached him.
Having changed his cloak, Hui Yue looked around the area and his mood greatly improved as he saw that not many people had entered the arena just yet.
The arena reminded him of the amphitheaters he had seen in his old world, except this stage was square instead of circular. All seating was placed above, making it possible to look down on the stage where the groups would have to fight.
Currently no fighters were on the stage just yet, however the sun was about to rise to the middle of the sky and the audience would soon be allowed entrance to the seating areas.
Looking around, Hui Yue saw four groups of mercenaries, one had only five members like Hui Yue’s. The others had between six to ten members. Looking at these groups, Hui Yue knew that he could not take it easy.
The first group, the one with only five members like Hui Yue’s group, were all wearing normal clothing, however their faces were hidden beneath masks not even allowing for their eye colours to be seen.
The group’s faces were completely hidden beneath their masks, just like Hui Yue’s was hidden beneath his cloak, the cloaked and masked groups staring at each other, the tension within the arena rising.
Clap, clap, clap, clap. The sound of clapping suddenly rang throughout the arena as one group with seven members stepped forward. All of their eyes were fastened on the black cloaked men, with the majority of the eyes on Hui Yue.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t the newcomers in town,” The leading man said with mockery present in his voice. “When we came back from the tunnels we heard that a mysterious group appeared in town. Who would have known that you actually had the skill to enter this arena right away.”
The attention of every group within the arena was now focused on Hui Yue and his friends, eagerly waiting to see which way they would react.
Most of these groups already knew each other, however this new group was unknown to them all and any information they could gain would greatly help. The biggest help would be to see their cultivation base, yet none of them truly believed that it would be revealed now.
And just as expected, Hui Yue completely ignored the group of seven. Instead he walked right past him, showing no attention to the provocation whatsoever.
Anger flashed on the face of the leading man and his hand shot toward Hui Yue’s cloak, a menacing expression on his face.
All the mercenaries within the arena unconsciously moved to the front of their seats as they excitedly looked at Hui Yue, expecting his features to be revealed any moment now by the hand, however that never happened.
Instead a blood curdling scream was heard, as the hand fell to the ground cleanly cut off at the wrist. Veins were popping in the man’s forehead of the man, his other hand was holding the stump which was his wrist, and constant screams could be heard.
“Sorry about that,” A joking voice said at the back as a middle aged man moved to the front. With a gesture another person appeared and green light shone in his hands as they attempted to reconnect the hand to the severed wrist.
Although the wounded man had no idea what happened, this man had seen it. The moment the hand touched Hui Yue’s cloak, a slithering snake tail appeared from behind, severing it with one whip-lash before the tail once more hid itself beneath one of the cloaks.
It was obvious that at least one of the people in Hui Yue’s group was not human and based on the sudden movement, the group was at least middle dantian experts.
To enter the arena one needed to have a silver emblem from the Mercenary Guild, however this was not something which one would show others unless needed, as everyone wished to keep information about them as hidden as possible. The more mysterious one was, the more likely one was to survive.
Having severed a hand, no one else tried to stop Hui Yue and his friends as they moved past the group towards a comfortable seating area where they placed themselves, looking at the surroundings.
After a few more moments other groups entered the arena and eventually nine groups had arrived. Hui Yue watched curiously as each group seated themselves in the audience in a random fashion. So far he had no idea which group he would be fighting against.
After the final group of mercenaries arrived within the arena an elderly man suddenly walked up on the stage, standing in the middle and saying absolutely nothing as he waited for the mercenary groups to grow quiet and allow him to speak.
Looking at the man in the middle, Hui Yue felt a certain amount of worry. Not only did he have a dragon emblem on his clothes, giving the white-haired boy the impression that he might be from the Dragon Corps, the most dangerous feeling came from the aura around the man. He was clearly no weaker than Xu Piao or Xie Lan.
“Excuse me for interrupting,” The man said, his voice low but somehow it reached every single corner of the arena, quieting the few people who had not gone quiet before.
“The tournament will be starting soon, I need to request the first group enter the stage. The rest of you, please make your way towards the first row and stay seated until it is your turn to fight.”
Having said that, the many mercenaries did as they were told. Hui Yue and his group were the first group up to fight as they were the only group which had a golden emblem, however none of the participating members knew this.
Moving to the ground, a smile appeared on Hui Yue’s face as he saw that the group they were up against were the ones who had previously tried to stop them.
The white-haired young man was filled with annoyance and hate from the events that happened throughout the day. First was the overcrowded city, second was the annoying guard, and third was the group of mercenaries which attempted to block him way.
Finally it was possible for him to let go. Hui Yue could finally start killing.
What never occurred to the young man was why he suddenly felt such a strong killing intent, even when he did not feel any influence from the red mist within his dantian cave.