“You’re withdrawing from the tournament?”, I asked Jessica, “Why?”
“My wish was to receive assistance to find my friend’s.”, she explained, “With them safe, and sound now there is no reason to fight.”
“Oh, okay.”, I said turning to Ulthar.
“I intended to pull out…”, she said, “I didn’t want to fight my future husband…”
Fidgeting around she looked adorable. Kissing her on the forehead she turned bright red as smoke came from her ears. Tomorrow was the big day for us as the tournament was going to start. Having never participated in the fight before I didn’t know what to expect. As I would need all my energy for the fight the women let me off the hook for our nightly entertainment. Rising early in the morning we had a hardy breakfast before heading to the massive arena. When we arrived I made sure each woman got a kiss on the lips before we separated.
“We will be cheering for you!”, they said smiling brightly.
Walking up to the seating area I went to the check-in station. Waiting in line I eventually received my number. Taking number 77 from the receptionist I walked out into the arena. Gathering with the other participants with the same number color we stood around chatting with each other till the last participants were in their groups. At that point the announcer broadcasted his voice throughout the arena.
“Welcome one, and all to the two hundred and sixty-seventh annual Beast King tournament.”, he shouted, “This year we have close to three thousand fighters in the arena all seeking the opportunity to fight our beloved King Darius!”
The crowd broke out cheering with excitement. Realizing that was how one could gain the chance to give a King’s order I could only cringe. It wasn’t a shocker now as to why Darius was hesitant on me entering the fight. As the crowd quieted down the announcer continued to speak.
“Due to the number of fighters we have broken the groups into four groups based on strength, and magical power.”, he explained, “There are only three rules in this tournament. First, killing your opponent isn’t allowed. This is a display of your power not a bloodfest. Secondly, the use of weapons is allowed no matter the weapon. Just make sure you follow rule one when using it. Lastly, any assistance you receive outside of cheers from the crowd will be deemed as cheating. This will immediately get you removed from the tournament. Today we will begin with the orange block.”
Stepping forward as I was in the block he explained how we would advance.
“Out of the seven hundred and fifty fighters in this block only one hundred will advance to the next round.”, he said, “Will all other fighters outside this block please remove themselves from the field. The fighters in this block please take your battle positions.”
Walking to the center of the arena I got into a defensive position. Spotting me the women started cheering which drew a lot of attention. As the announcer began the match I darted to the nearest fighter. In a matter of seconds the lion tribe man shot out of the ring crashing into the wall. Falling to the ground unconscious it set the tone for fight.
“SHIT!!”, some of the fighters said, “THAT’S THE ROGUE HERO!!”
Crashing my fist into the floor chunks of the stage shot into the air pelting contestants throwing them like rag dolls. Letting off a massive bolt of lightning one hundred fighters were launched off the stage.
“Son of a bitch!”, they shouted, “How are we on par with that!!”
Watching the display from the stands the crowd was going nuts. Finally gathering their wits some of the fighters got serious. Grabbing a large boulder two rhino tribe men threw it at me. Catching it mid-air I used the momentum to spin myself, and return it to them. Seeing it coming they, and two other men like them braced themselves to catch it. Sliding across the ground the bearly stopped it before going off the edge. They sighed, but it was premature. Appearing in front of them I crashed my leg into the boulder. The impact knocked the wind out of them as they crashed into the wall.
“The Rogue Hero is making short work of these men. What do you think of the situation, Your Highness?”, the announcer asked.
“Not many people in the public know this, but he has beaten me and the previous King in a two on one fight.”, he said, “He is the one I hoped wouldn’t be in the fight this year.”
“Do you know him personally?”, the announcer asked.
“Yes, he is in this tournament to make the four staff in his household to marry him. The four women are just outside our standard marrying age so normally they wouldn’t ever get to have a family.”, Darius said, “He intends to right this for them, and give them a family.”
“He loves beastmen?”, the announcer asked, “So the rumors must be true.”
“Those women cheering in the stands over there are in his harem.”, he said pointing at my women.
“Aren’t those five your daughters!?!?!?”, the announcer said in shock.
“Yes, as a man I can respect on equal terms there wasn’t another man I wanted to marry them.”, he said with a smile, “However there is an understanding that Dola isn’t allowed to do adult activities till her sixteenth birthday.”
Hearing this the crowd watched Dola’s face start pouting on the monitor. A loud awe ran through the crowd seeing her cuteness. By the time the crowd’s attention returned to the fight the one hundred fighters had been determined. Wiping the blood off of me the one hundred of us that made the cut exited the stage. Fixing the damage I caused with magic we sat back in the fighter area. Getting a drink of water the other contestants gave me a wide berth except one.
“Hey you grumpy young man!”, a voice called out.
Turning to find the source of the voice I saw Jarvis walking over to me. Patting me on the back he was grinning like an idiot.
“What’s up old man?”, I asked.
“Oh, right in the heart! You young kids are so rude!”, he laughed, “How is life?”
“Busy, still looking for those fragments.”, I said, “The women are doing quite well.”
“Yeah, I saw them briefly.”, he said, “The number has skyrocketed.”
“Yep.”, I said with a chuckle, “So, what are you in the tournament for?”
“I have an order I want to give my damn brother.”, he said with a grin, “Let’s say its payback for taking my joy.”
“What do you mean?”, I asked.
“He shutdown my favorite brewery!”, he snapped, “The bastard closed it because he didn’t like it, and they were a month behind on their taxes! I am going to make him drink it everyday till he dies!”
“Haha!!”, I said laughing my ass off.
“I wish you luck, but you will lose against me.”, I said with a grin.
“It ain’t set in stone!”, he snapped.
“We will see about that.”, I said with a grin, “I was just warming up.”
Going off with the second block he ended up being one of the first to get knocked off. He got over zealous, and charged a young man who specialized in martial arts. It was over pretty much instantly. Rolling on the floor I laughed my ass off at the display. Darius was even laughing on his throne looking at his brother. Hiding their faces his nephews, and nieces pretended not to know him. Walking out to the sideline I help him up, and out of fighting area.
“Old man, you certainly are still entertaining.”, I said with a smirk.
“My pride can’t take another critical hit. Please stop the harassment.”, he said hanging his head in defeat.
Sending him off I sat back watching the next three blocks finish. In the final block I noticed a particular man who stood out from the others. Wearing a black robe that hid his face he was easily weaving in, and out of fights stealing wins from other fighters. At one point ten fighters rushed him at once. Without any hesitation he smacked them away with a giant fan like he was swatting flies. Ending up in the remaining one hundred in his group I had a sneaking suspicion about exactly what his race was.
“A demigod…”, I muttered softly.
“Alright folks! That brings today’s festivities to a close! Sleep well fighters because Rounds two, and three will take place tomorrow!!”, the announcer shouted.
Leaving the fighter area I met up with the women who were all overjoyed with my advancement into the next round. Even though it was a guarantee that I would make it they were still overjoyed about it. Showering me with affection we returned to our condo where the bubbly atmosphere followed into bathtime. Sitting quietly enjoying the bath the women were eagerly talking about wedding arrangements due to Darius blowing the whistle. Thankfully his interference had softened public opinion of me as he had said I was the only man he felt could marry his daughters. Sadly, I think he was meaning it in another way than the public took it.
“That mysterious fighter was something else.”, Ruby said, “He is as skilled as James.”
“What do you think about it?”, Amber asked.
“I think he is a demigod, or there have been more Heroes summoned than we were told.”, I said.
“We should be the only six.”, Lilian pointed out.
“No, we are the only six remaining from the latest summoning…as far as we know.”, I said, “I learned from Drakken…”
Stopping before I continued I looked over my wives who were a bit confused why I had stopped. I felt bad breaking this news to them in this nice atmosphere.
“Is something wrong?”, Sapphire asked.
“There is something I have been meaning to tell you…”, I said lowering my eyes.
“Did you meet more women?”, they said coldly.
“No…it’s nothing to do with that.”, I said, “I learned something while in Dredmoria from Drakken. The information is something I have been holding off on telling you.”
“It can’t be that bad, right?”, Almina said with a hopeful smile.
“According to their records of previous summoning’s the Heroes that were summoned were found to be almost godlike in their lifespans…”, I said.
“I don’t see an…oh…I see.”, Brittany said realizing that meant the six of us were immortal beings.
“That isn’t so bad, is it?”, Almina said, “Not all of us have a mortal lifespan. If anything that is good news.”
“You don’t understand.”, I said, “You may be right that some of you have longer lifespans, but the six of us will never age. We will remain the same two thousand years down the line. Do you think all of you will?”
“Are you saying your love is skin deep?”, Diana said sitting up.
“Of course not!”, I said standing up, “I love each of you more than words can express! It’s just…I don’t know how I will handle seeing some of you reach the age where you are no longer able to do anything.”
Scooting over to me the women bunched up tightly around me. Looking at all of them their gaze told me that it didn’t matter to them.
“I made my decision to end my life when the last mortal one of you dies.”, I said boldly.
“You can’t!”, Amber said, “We couldn’t ask that of you!”
“It is my choice alone.”, I said, “Before I go that far though I want to find the means of making each of you immortal like me. If I can do that there will be no need for me to worry about it. That is…if you are alright becoming immortal.”
“For you, absolutely!!”, they said each kissing me.
Snuggling in bed with them that evening I started the next day at the tournament on a high note.