The gladiator Bal Maskar finished his match and went back to the waiting room. In there, there were the same many gazes of envy and respect as always. Bal was already aware of what kind of existence he became at the colosseum. Despite that, without feeling like caring about it, he calmly sat down at the seat he usually would sit at.
“”This time my opponent was really tough.””
Although he came out uninjured and looked carefree at one glance, that match had actually been very close. Bal was thinking of how good it was for there to be such a strong warrior at a remote place like this. The more people like that he would cut down, the more he could sharpen himself Bal was
“Bal Maskar, you have a guest.”
A voice called for Bal, who was absorbed in the aftertaste of the match. The one that called for Bal was a staff member of the colosseum.
“Yes, it is Marfoi-sama. Don´t keep him waiting. Come with me immediately.”
The people at the surroundings started to make a bit of a clatter right when his name was called, but Bal stood up from his seat without paying any heed to that. Bal was thinking Marfoi had probably found someone that would hire him.
Marfoi of the Vagahte company. It was the owner of the slave trading company that was responsible of choosing him a master. Although it was Bal´s bias that he thought of Marfoi as a man that did business honestly, he believed that he could be trusted as a mediator for his deal. But even so, even when there were people Marfoi could indicate, nobody that desired for him could be found.
This was something that couldn´t be helped. The people that would want to spend on him, a gladiator, would want to use him as a bodyguard for the most part.
However, Bal was originally a machiini pilot. He had interest in the sword fighting from the teachings of the Rahsa, but Bal decided in his life that he was someone that fought with a machiini at the battlefield. Because of that, he had been looking for employers so that he could get another machinii since his previous one was stolen.
Bal fully knew that this was more of a stupid dream. To begin with, Bal wasn´t known in this region as a machiini pilot. If he was to brag to other machiini pilots, they would sneer at him, saying that getting a machiini was just a dream for someone of the likes of a gladiator.
With that said, with his current situation of having his machiini stolen, it was also impossible for him to go back to his homeland or even at the neighboring regions. And so, until now, he had been making a name for himself at the colosseum, and before he could realize, he became the champion.
In addition, the number of people that had a chance in defeating Bal had been increasing recently. This had been something Marfoi warned him about, and also something he came to be aware of himself.
Currently, Marfoi is only in the role of mediator for him. Because of that, as a supporter, it didn´t amount to much for Bal. Thus, people started to think of Bal, who didn´t have any master, as a hindrance. And so, people that were thinking of getting rid of him started to appear.
The opponent from his last battle seemed to have connections to slave companies, and this should be the same for the people that would poison in his a glass of water.
And so, just when he was about to consider going to another city since he couldn´t find a master, Marfoi contacted him.
“Hm, I wonder if it will work out this time.”
It has already been the eighth time. It couldn´t be helped that Bal was doubtful. However, this wasn´t because Marfoi was doing his job badly, but because of the problem there was in the conditions Bal set.
In either case, nothing would actually happen if he didn´t go check it out. And so, Bal stood from his chair and left the place.
“You are telling me this kid is the one buying me?”(TL note: Better wording for “buying”? Yes, it is literally buying(in the context too), though he isn´t a slave.)
It couldn´t be helped that Bal made a disappointed face at the that Marfoi. The one that wanted to purchase Bal was a kid that seemed to be of the Rahsa race just like him.
“Bal, that´s impolite. Iyaa, sorry Bela-sama.”
“I don´t mind. It´s nice that he is energetic. Right, Borudo?”
“Ah, that is right…” (TL note: Poor Borudo -.-)
The little girl leisurely sitting on the chair was receiving Marfoi´s apologies as she sipped on the liquid that was served in her glass. The one behind her was her caretaker… Not; it seemed that he was her slave. It was an old man of the dwarf race. His attire wasn´t bad, but he couldn´t hide the slave mark on his neck.
With more of those unreasonable things increasing, Bal started to lose sight of what was happening.
”The name of this honorable customer is Bela Heiroh-sama. She is my customer.”
Bal made a puzzled face at Marfoi´s words.
“A little girl like her is selling you slaves?”
Hearing Bal´s words, Bela said “I guess this reaction is to be expected”, following it with her “hyahyahya” laughs. Marfoi responded to Bal, saying “you are being too rude” while making a grim face.
“You, who values ability over other things and had been refusing invitations from nobles, acts like this when you are in front of someone who is truly strong? How can your eyes be so blind?
Bal´s eyes became wide-open at those words Marfoi said with a serious face, but he could understand that this wasn´t some kind of joke once he looked at his eyes. Once again turning his eyes to Bela, Bal could see that the way she had her gear equipped was definitely done in a way someone that was used to fighting would. Even Bal could understand that the girl in front of his eyes had at least received some training as a warrior. However, the following words made all his thoughts vanish like mist.
“She is the person that destroyed the Varuhallua bandit group and the Ende bandit group, which was leaded by the three piece. She has also hunted twenty bigrobears.”
“Can you stop with the jokes?”
Believing that he was definitely being deceived, Bal spoke. However, Marfoi still had a serious expression on his face. Shrugging his shoulders in a lofty manner, Marfoi let out a sigh as he looked at Bal.
“Have you ever heard of the name “Bela-hime”? She is that person.”
This time Bela was the one to frown at Marfoi´s words.
“What is it? What´s up with that embarrassing nickname?”
Seeing Bela´s puzzled face, Marfoi made a face. But even so, this name was one that had already been spread around. All he did was to speak of a fact that wasn´t necessary to be hidden away.
“Yes, I beg your pardon. There are people that call you that. This is probably related to the name of queen Beladonna.”
It was the queen of the mercenary nation of Morian that had fought at a big war seven years ago, piloting her golden machiini. Being the one that defeated the empire in battle, her achievement of stopping the empire´s advance at its borders was huge. Even at the present day, there are many people from the neighboring countries that fought against the empire that consider her as a hero. But even so, looking from Bela´s point of view, she would be just some old woman that died before she was born.
“It´s some old hag that died at the great war, right? It´s not like getting her name is a good omen or something.”
Because of that, her view of Beladonna was just to that extent. Although Bela, who lived in a rural village, was highly skilled in combat [for some reason], all she knew about the situation of the world was more or less just what she has been told.
“No no, but if that person wasn´t there at that time, we would have been invaded by the empire. Since you were named after a person that has the qualifications to be called a hero, it should be an honor.”
Hearing Marfoi´s argument, Bela clicked her tongue with a displeased face.
“Is there something you don´t like about it?”
Those were words that naturally came out of Bal´s mouth. Bela was thorny about that, but she still answered to the question.
“Who knows? I just don´t like that some loser is being set on a pedestal. It doesn´t matter the reason; if you die, you lose. You see, I have no intentions of being at that side.”
This was Bela´s motto. She wouldn´t be at the defeated side. Ever since she had been sold by her parents as a slave, Bela decided this was the single principle she was going to follow follow.
“While she is a hero for the statesman, as a warrior, she was defeated… is it?”
Bal was reflecting about it with interest.
Let aside the Morian kingdom, which was governed by the queen, it could be said that pretty much nobody would talk bad about the queen Beladonna, who was once part of the Doubah alliance. Being considered a hero being, the queen Beladonna has been regarded as some kind of religion ever since. It was to the point that she seen in awe and had her stories transmitted even inside the empire.
Because of that, Bela´s words were something fresh to Bal.
“I see. It seems that she is really different from all the people Marfoi-dono had introduced to me, but…”
“Oh, then are you…”
Marfoi lifted up his head with a bright face, but Bal raised his hand forward, telling him to wait.(TL note: Dunno about the bright face. Only the lifted up his head part was written -.- By what I saw from the japanese japanese dictionary, it might have connotations with a positive meaning.)
“This little girl… Was it Bela? Can you tell me about your origins?”
“Self-introduction, is it? That´s right, my name is Bela Heiroh. I am from the village of Laira. It seems that my parents are from the Rahsa race. They are refugees, so I don´t know which tribe my parents were from.”
Bal narrowed his eyes at those words. He saw that she was from his same race, so he was guessing that she came from a well-fared tribe since she was given combat tutelage at her age.
“In these past few months, I´ve left my village for a while and have been holding on my own. Well, in the end there is limits to what you can do by yourself. I want fighting power, so I want to buy you.”
Those were fluently spoken words that couldn´t be thought to have come from someone that had the age of only one digit. As to be expected, Bal also didn´t receive Bela´s words as the truth. However, he could see that she was aware of his intentions, and more importantly, he also realized about her wanting to have him as a combatant was true.
“Did you hear about the conditions of the agreement?”
“Yes, I did. It was to get you a machiini, right?”
“It is not enough with just that. I want to be part of bloodbaths with strong people. For that sake, I desire for the battlefield.”
“Hah, so you lack some screws in your head, don´t you?
Hearing Bela´s words, Borudo thought about her lack of qualification to speak of this to other people, but couldn´t bring himself to say it.
“Well, if it is my left-overs, I can share with you.”
“So you are saying that you have that much strength?”
Bal looked at Borudo as he said that.
“Here is the mouth of someone that can only get the leftovers.”
Shrugging his shoulders, Borudo said. All of Borudo´s accomplishments in the destruction of the Ende bandit group was resumed in only destroying the salamas that Bela had brought to the ground before.
Seeing that there was no falsehood in Borudo´s expression, Bal did one nod. And then, he threw in a question.
“So, supposing that this is true and that I believe in it, what will you be doing then?”
“What I will be doing then, you say?”
Bal responded to Bela´s rhetorical question.
“If I make a slave contract with you, I will probably be standing by your side for more than ten years. So, I am asking if there won´t be any problems for me to get to fight during all that time.”
Bela responded those words with a “hmm”.
These were all the things Bela had seen so far:
The parents that sold her off.
The villagers that had been massacred by the bandits.
The bandits that were killed because they lacked the power.
The families of greater beasts that are unreasonably hunted.
The end line for deserters.
The women that became tools for men to use.
“”Ah, I don´t want that.””
So Bela thought about it. She didn´t want to be on that side.
And so, Bela´s answer has been decided.
“I intent to always be on the winning side. I want to rise up to the highest place that can be reached. Together with my machiini, you see. I should be able to leave to you enough leftovers to fill your stomach on the course of that.” (TL note: The word “course” being used there is ->課程<- however, that would be for the word course in the university course sorta meaning. Even so, it still means “period of time”, so it might have some extra meaning there -.-)
Bela declared that with a smile. Bal nodded.
“In that case, show me your machiini and the machiini that will be given to me. I will make my decision then.”
“It´s nice you are straightforward.”
Bela nodded to Bal´s words while she said that. Originally, by looking at his expression, it could be imagined that he had already reached at a decision. Seeming that Marfoi realized that, he nodded in satisfaction.
And then, by himself, Borudo entered into a sea of thought.
“”To rise up to the highest place that can be reached? Together with my machiini?”
Where did those words come from? No, in fact, those words…
“”Aren´t those words from queen Beladonna?””
Borudo thought back of the old woman that had once picked up a fight with the nation he used to serve and destroyed everything. And then, he saw the figure of the queen that he had once met in the little girl in front of his eyes.