If you’re new to this story then you can catch up here with the prelude.
Our Story so far: A stranger called Rob has approached the group trying to convince them that the tournament it rigged. Maron and Kil have spent the day trying to work out if he’s correct, unsure Kil prepared for his next fight while Maron reported people with false citizenship’s. The story continues from the moment they wake up the next day.
Maron had been obsessing over the chance that this whole thing might be rigged. Yes the evidence is strong and in my opinion probably true but even so, there was nothing we could do about it. All I could do was win my fight and keep on winning.
We were woken by Rob who remembered where our tent was. He had checked the matchups to find that Maron was against one of the people who (according to Rob) was supposed to win easilly. It was sad that it had happened to her and I really wanted her to pull out of the fight. She was having none of it though and was convinced she could win.
Anyway all of that stress could wait until after the fight.
I didn’t start to feel nervous until I saw my opponent, he was strong and slightly bigger than I was, he was going to be difficult to take down. Since Rick was still recovering only Maron, and Rob had come to watch me. I hated the way he would stand close to Maron, and I could tell she hated it as well.
I was ready to face him and immediately take him down using the dislocation method. The official said “Start” and much like Rick I immediately ran to take him down, it had worked quite effectively for him last time and I hoped to replicate the effect.
He wasn’t expecting it at all, and I took him down with ease. Then I got into the position Maron had told me and began to twist.
“Surrender or I dislocate it!” I screamed out. He tried to wrestle free but I kept twisting and twisting until the moment when I was sure it was going to go. I felt bad for the guy but had to do it for the win.
“I surrender.” He cried and I let go of him and walked to the side. That was my first win, it was a lot easier than Ricks but it felt less earned, like I had cheated.
“That was brilliant!” Maron laughed from the side-lines, “excellent!” Now the main thing to worry about was Marrons fight, I was glad that Rick couldn’t be there because he might just explode on the person who attacks her, and I wouldn’t want him to do that. He probably likes Maron a bit too much.
Maron was going to lose though, we saw him fight yesterday and he looked very strong. All I could really do to help her was to practice fighting. So when Rob left to attend to his own business we sparred together.
Maron was an exceptionally good fighter, especially when you consider her gender. She was nimble, quick on her feet and ultimately pretty nasty, using underhand methods to get the upper hand. I didn’t mind practicing with her; she was a lot more interesting than Rick and a lot prettier too. While Rick would mostly flail on you, trying every random thing he could to push you down or hit you in the face Maron knew some form of martical art yet punched a lot weaker. She could use all the techniques she had but at the end of the day she lacked the muscles to do any real impact. She was improving though; they were getting better placed and better timed to the point where I wondered if she was holding back.
Our campsite had changed from a very busy place with many tents to a place only half as busy, most people had set up to camp but with so many people being defeated tents left very quickly.
I switched to thinking about everything Rob had told us about and thought about the conspiracy. It made me think why Maron would have been placed against someone this early.
“Why do you think you’ve been placed with one of the most difficult opponents so early?” I asked her.
“There are many potential reasons.” She said as I continually tried to punch her, she was practicing dodging and doing very well.
“The first is that it’s a coincidence.” It made sense, they do happen.
“It could also be that he’s not actually strong and Rob’s lying about the position places.” I didn’t really believe this one, Rob carried himself around with a huge degree of certainty, he knew exactly what would happen with such a confidence that it was impossible not to believe.
“What about if it’s rigged?” I asked, she seemed to know a lot more about these things than I did so I would trust her opinion over mine at the end of the day but it wouldn’t stop me from believing what I saw.
“Well why would they place a person from the fighter’s guild against one of the people they want to win? Surely they wouldn’t want a potentially dangerous opponent?” That was actually fair enough, I wouldn’t want her as an opponent either, but I thought that it was maybe something that we did which brought this upon ourselves.
“Are you sure that there’s nothing you did? Maybe we stick it for being with Rob or something?” At this phrase Maron became very thoughtful and less good at dodging, I punched her in the shoulder but she seemed to not even notice it.
“I did do one thing.” She said, and I stopped punching.
“What! What did you do?” I couldn’t believe Maron had done something to alert anyone’s attention, yes we looked through those forms but I’m pretty sure nobody saw us.
“I reported those three guys with the fake forms.” She said, but I didn’t see how it mattered, a fake form is a fake form, theirs nothing suspicious about reporting one.
“What would that do?”
“If these people are actually Kovans, and are rigging the tournament then reporting them would be a bad idea, they’d not only be let into the tournament but would want to take the person out for being suspicious of them, if my opponents as strong as we think he’ll be then I’ll be convinced this tournament is rigged and we need to do… something. I’m not sure what.” She aired her thoughts out; all that was left was to wait until tomorrow.
Later that night Rob returned to see if we had made up our minds, Maron was adamant that we waited until tomorrow so that was that. I sat next to Rick as Rob had a private word with Maron outside the tent. I watched them talk.
They were standing very close to each other and Rob put his hand on her face, it looked like she had clasped but after a few moments she was fine again. It was strange but I didn’t think about it too much, he seemed to be a decent person now who just wanted allies to help him for his cause, and if his cause was right… well that was terrifying to think about.
Thank you for reading chapter 15 of this story! Next is Maron’s fight, will she win or will she lose?