Chapter 90 – The Little Birdy
“Oh, by the way, to register as an entrant, you will have to pay two silver squares.”
The guard suddenly yelled out to Calron, just as he was about to turn around.
“You have got to be kidding me…”
“Registering as an entrant is free, so ignore that rascal, kid!”
An elderly woman’s voice abruptly burst out from behind the guard, as a small grey raccoon appeared and stomped on the guard’s foot.
“Tch, crazy old bat.”
Muttering a string of curses, the guard left the scene and walked off to the corner where the groups of beasts were still waiting to get to their seats.
“Thank you, madam!”
Calron greeted the old raccoon by bobbing his head.
“Bahaha! A madam… I think you are the first to ever call me that, little birdy!”
The elderly raccoon cackled, as she approached Calron and slapped him on his wings.
Calron quietly mumbled, as he glanced down at the three foot grey raccoon who was curiously touching his golden scales.
“Oy, birdy, why are your feathers made of metal? How the heck do you even fly? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bird like you…. Which clan are you from?”
As the elderly raccoon pestered him with questions, Calron frantically started thinking of ways to escape from her scrutiny.
“Ah, I should really go now, madam.”
Knowing that any excuse he could come up with at this moment would only draw more suspicion, Calron politely stated a simple farewell.
“Fine, fine, youngsters these days are so impatient to run. Shoo, shoo!”
The old raccoon grumbled, as she waved her paws at Calron.
Inwardly letting out a sigh, Calron gave a slight bow to the small raccoon and began rushing towards the registration booth before the grey raccoon changed her mind.
“So, he’s a beast of lightning…. interesting. Gahaha!”
The old raccoon cackled, while the passing-by beasts gave her strange glances.
However, in the very next second, faint traces of golden lightning burst around the elderly raccoon and she disappeared in a flash.
“Hi, I would like to register as an entrant for the Arena.”
Calron stated to the large rat-type beast sitting in the booth.
Although the beige colored beast was sitting down, Calron estimated that the rat would be around five feet tall when standing upright.
“Ah, a new entrant! Welcome to the Arena, lad. Please place your forehead against this stone.”
The rat calmly replied by gesturing the black stone placed on the side of the booth’s counter.
Calron immediately touched the stone with his forehead, but he could not tell if anything happened, as there was simply no reaction. Just as he was about to ask if it was broken, the white rat muttered:
“Hmm, first rank of the Vajra stage… not bad!”
The large rat glanced at Calron while raising its eyebrow in surprise.
“Well, since you are in the Vajra stage, you will begin with the bronze badge. What is your name?”
The rat asked, as his skinny claws whizzed behind the counter.
“My name is Calron. Wait, what are the badges?”
Calron curiously inquired as he tried to sneak a peek at what the white rat was doing.
“You entered the Arena without knowing what it is?”
The beast conveyed in astonishment.
“Yeah, I was just curious, so decided to check it out.”
Calron muttered with embarrassment.
Now that he thought about it, his decision to enter the Arena was completely spontaneous and on the spur of the moment.
I guess I really did not want to be a pigeon carrier…
Calron thought in amusement, while he heard a faint snicker in the background.
“The Arena is not a plaything. You get to win an abundant amount of money, but it comes with a great risk. Once you enter the stage, you will have to fight until one of you gives up. Whether your opponent wants to kill you, or you killing him, will be completely up to you both.”
The white rat said while trying to gauge the reaction on Calron’s face.
Seeing no change in his expression, he continued.
“Sigh… there are a total of five badges in our city’s Arena. Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and finally Diamond. The Iron badges are mostly for the participants in the Spiritual stage, while the Bronze badge is for a mix of peak Spiritual stage experts and a few Vajra stage beasts. Silver badges are for the mid-ranked Vajra stage beasts. You don’t need to worry about the other badges as we haven’t seen a peak Vajra or a Saint stage battle in years.”
The white rat exhaled, as he handed Calron a small shield-shaped bronze metal.
Gingerly taking the small piece of metal from the rat’s claws using his beak, Calron fixed it between the scales on his chest.
“However, since you will begin with the Bronze badge, most of your opponents will be at the peak of the Spiritual stage, so you have nothing to worry about for your first battle. After you win twenty consecutive battles in your rank, you will be given the Silver badge.”
The white rat assured Calron, as he handed him out another object.
“This book has all the rules and information about the Arena, so after reading it, you can start your first battle tomorrow morning.”
“Thank you for all this help, but is there any chance that I can enter a battle right now?”
Calron inquired as he sent the book into his storage bracelet.
“Uhh… let me see what I can do…”
The white rat’s claws whizzed as a flash of various colors glowed behind the counter.
What is that?
Calron wondered, as he once again tried to peek at what was in the booth.
“Alright, I got you a battle with another entrant with a Bronze badge. Your fight should start in the next five minutes, so hurry up to the stage. Once they call your name, show your badge and you be good. Be careful, Calron.”
The white rat solemnly stated, and then immediately resumed his work.
“Oh, I forgot to ask something. How much do I get for winning a Bronze ranked battle?”
Calron eagerly asked, and even the quietly sitting Avi on his back leaned forward to hear the large rat’s words.
“For a Bronze ranked battle, you get a sum of hundred coppers, or a single silver square as the reward.”
The white rat absentmindedly responded while continuing with whatever task he was currently doing.
Avi excitedly let a series of cheerful barks, as she lightly hopped on Calron’s back. The little pup did not know how much value those coins had, but judging from her companion’s mood, it seemed like it definitely was a good amount.
“Haha, we won’t have to worry about food for a while! Isn’t that great, Avi?”
Calron yelled in equal excitement, as he energetically charged to the entrance of the Arena’s stadium.
A bird’s cry and a pup’s cheers echoed in the Arena’s building, causing a faint smile to appear on the white rat’s face.
—A Few Minutes after Calron had left—
“Huh? This is… impossible!”
The large rat abruptly exclaimed as his claws started to uncontrollably tremble.
Swiftly taking out a small crystal, the rat frantically yelled into it.
“Someone has tampered with the system! One of the Bronze entrants was replaced with a Silver badge holder! Cancel the next match immediately!”
“Karab, it’s orders from above. Leave it.”
A tranquil female voice sounded out from the crystal.
“If this is found out by the people, it will cause a havoc in the city! No one can bypass the system, unless it’s… “
The large rat’s eyes widened in shock as a sudden realization hit him.
“Yes, these orders are from the Beast King himself.”
The female’s voice stated, as the glow on the crystal faded away a second later.
“What in the heavens is going on here…”
Karab despondently muttered as he put the crystal away, and gazed into the direction that the two companions had disappeared to.