As the tale of the Exalted Continues

Saiten's Journal 19

Descending Fire 1-2

Descending Fire 1-2

As continued my training and preparation for the tournament, I noted how Broken Walls didn’t seem to be doing much training at all. My mind had started to play tricks on me, thinking that he must be overly confident and that I would not be a challenge to him, or he thought I might get eliminated before we faced off against each other. Either way, Broken walls will have a challenge. Hopefully I will as well.

I decided to patrol in the higher end of Champoor, noting that while the slums may need my help the most, assisting the upper echelon of the city might do well to provide visibility to lower end’s plight. Perhaps the help that I need to start the Hero’s guild will come from somebody I am able to help.
The patrol was mostly uneventful. The wealthy are able to hire their own guards to protect them from wrong doers, and as such I find myself mostly unneeded. I do help a few people with minor inconveniences, but nothing like the problems of the slums.

I did pick up my new uniform from Midnight Raining Blossom. Trying it on, I note that it fits considerably better than my old one, though that isn’t very surprising. My last uniform I had made shortly after my fall, and I didn’t have quite the same physique back then.
I thanked him profusely before heading back to the compound.

Descending Fire 3
I was awoken by some sort of Silgur alert. I hastily threw on my old uniform (not wanting to get my new one all bloody before the tournament) and ran downstairs in a hurry. I was met by two small rats pushing an equally small wooden box. It didn’t look dangerous at all, still, Broken Walls advised caution. He stopped me from opening it, opting to do so himself from inside a small brick hut he quickly threw together.
When he did emerge, he did so holding a small golden medallion, along with a ripped piece of paper.
It was obvious that Silgur had broken our non aggression contract, yet we saw the medallion seemed to be some kind of peace offering as it brandished the rising sun house’s crest upon it. A confusing token to be sure, yet if Silgur were to attempt anything again, I would be sure to show him less mercy than I had before.

Broken walls thanked the delivery rats before sending them on their way, though I am not certain they understood his words. I could swear I could hear a sigh of relief as they turned tail after he pointed to the compound door.

Seeing as how I was already awake, I figured I should do my hero rounds before getting ready for the tournament. While out, I noted several of the townsfolk shouting words of encouragement and luck to me as I passed by.

When I arrive back at the compound, I donned my new uniform and head to the tournament grounds.
The grounds are massive. Mawk had certainly done his work building the arena, as it was easily several hundred feet across.

As approach, I find myself distracted by the wondrous smells of the food vendors. I couldn’t help but get some sort of delicious meat on a stick. The vendor of course told me what it was, but I was too enthralled to care.
Shortly after taking a large bite, I hear Tick call on people to take their seats, so I head down the stairs to the arena.
Finding Broken Walls, I offer him some of the deliciousness that I had found, though he claimed he had already eaten. “His loss”, I thought to myself as I quickly finished the rest off.

One by one, we presented ourselves to to Mauk and the crowd. When I eventually had my turn, I was pleasantly surprised by how many cheers from the crowd I got. I haven’t been in this city for very long. Three or four months at most. I’m happy that I’ve able to affect the lives of the people here to the point that they’re able to take time for themselves to enjoy the tournament. I remind myself that these people may not have been able to be here if not for me, and that I’ll need to work hard to ensure that they, or people like them will be able to enjoy themselves in the future.

As the other competitors present themselves, I can tell they’re all confident as well. Some seem downright fearsome. I can only hope they are as strong as they look.

One competitor seemed stood above all others. Dedecasi’s Demise. This looked more creature than human. It stood nearly 10 feet tall, and bulging with muscles. I could tell Broken Walls was startled by her appearance. I could only hope that I got a chance to face off against her.

When I do finally catch a glance of the tournament fight order, I don’t see anything immediately exciting. It looks like Broken walls will meet in the finals, if at all, as he faces Dedecasi’s Demise before then.

My opponents are all people I’ve never heard of before, starting with Xin Ashcutter, a woman in fur, armed with a cudgel. I stare at her intently for a few moments before I recognize her. She was one of the troops that joined us in the fight with Akimu! I doubt she will be much of a challenge, but she could still prove to be a surprise.

Eventually, Broken Walls heads off towards the prize pit. I decide to go with him, as it will still be a while before my fight. Each prize tier has several different choices, so the winners of each round can have something. Higher tiers look like they have more valuable prizes, but as the tournament hasn’t progressed very far, only the first tier options are visible at the moment.

After pointing out a few items of interest, Broken walls says he’s going to go see Silgur, whom we just saw had taken a seat in the stands. Fearing trouble, I join my friend. Clenching my fist as we approach, I am surprised to hear that Silgur only wants peace between us. It seems a bit sketchy, but Broken Walls seemed to accept his words at face value. I don’t really know Silgur all that well, but I can’t shake the feeling that something about him is up to no good. Still, Broken walls has agreed to trust him, so I will as well. Perhaps there is good in this rat god.

I had to rush back to the arena in a hurry, as I heard my name called upon to enter the ring. I was next!

Xin and I faced off. I could see a look of uncertainty behind her eager grin. She knew who I was, and saw me in action. Still, that didn’t stop her from lunging out at me as soon as the bell announced the start of the round. She got a decent hit in with her cudgel, but truth be told, there wasn’t much force behind it. I danced around the ring with her for a while, poking her with a few jabs to see if she was still warming up. Eventually it became clear that she was giving it her all, so I folded her over with a swift punch to the stomach.
I was a bit worried I had hit her too hard when she didn’t move for a little while after dropping, but eventually she was able to stand and limp over to Aster’s medical tent after I was declared the victor.

I visited her in the tent to congratulate her on her efforts, and encourage her to keep training so that we might fight again, but I’m not sure she was as receptive to my words as I might have hoped.

I had Broken walls help me pick out a good prize, as it is my intention to try to use the winnings to start the Hero’s Guild. I have no idea how much it will take to accomplish such a thing, but getting the most out of the winnings can’t hurt.

There was a few fights before Broken Wall entered the ring, but I can’t say they were very memorable. Everyone looked like they were moving so slowly. I’m guessing the fighters aren’t going to do anything fancy until round 2.
When Broken Walls did take the stage, he did so against River’s Glory.They knew each other, and greeted one another before facing off. Unsurprisingly, it was over fairly quickly with Broken Walls disarming his opponent. I had hoped to see some unknown technique that Broken Walls might use against me in the coming fight, but I think it will be difficult to disarm an unarmed man! Oh well. Next fight maybe.

Broken Walls’s came to speak with me before Dedecasi’s Demise’ fight. He asked me to be prepared to intervene in case the creature goes berserk and tries to attack the spectators. I was surprised at the request. Not that Broken Walls made it, but that he is so concerned that Dedecasi’s Demise might attack someone unprovoked. I of course agreed to his request, and kept a close eye on our new friend. I positioned myself on the opposite side of the arena from Broken Walls, so that we might be able to close the distance easily no matter where Dedecasi’s Demise might end up.

The fight was almost terrifying. Dedecasi’s Demise showed no hesitation at rushing his opponent, picking him up and slamming him into the ground until he was a bloody, beaten mess. Broken Walls was right to be cautious of this one. I wonder if I will get to face her after all.

When the day’s fights were concluded, I had Rue take my winnings back to my room at the compound, while I enjoyed the festivities.

I had hoped to find my next opponent, First Rain’s Beauty, and say hello before our fight tomorrow, but it didn’t look like she was there. Admittedly, it is a good idea to rest up before a day of fighting, and I was not sure how fatigued she was after her match today. Hopefully she will be in fighting shape for tomorrow.

Descending Fire 4

I awake with enough time for my usual routine, then head to the tournament grounds with Aster. I helped carry her medical supplies, as it looks like she’s taking a lot with her. The injuries of the competitors had been more significant than one might have expected, and since Aster is Aster, she wanted to make sure to tend to all of their needs.

We arrived in time to see Rose Piercing wind take the first round, after which I find Broken Walls to go see the Prize pool again. The Chests on this tier seem more expensive, though the prize weapons look fairly mundane.
As we gazed upon the prizes, two of Mauk’s followers face off against each other. I didn’t even bother watching, knowing that the victor doesn’t really matter. Broken walls pointed out the chests he believed to be more valuable once again. It’s nice to have him around. I can be easily fooled when it comes to the value of valuables it seems.

I got breakfast at the food stands again. Festival food always seems to just taste better for some reason.
As I stuffed my face, Broken Walls finds me. He told me that Rose Piecing wind lied to him about his martial arts style. He wasn’t sure why, but he suggested we watch his next fight. It may be interesting.

It wasn’t long before I was next to fight. I decided it was at this point that I should start taking things a little bit more seriously. I retreated to my competitor tent and meditated for a while. While I waited, I focused my energies upon my muscles, strengthening them in preparation for my fight.

When I hear my name called, I head out into the arena. I introduce myself to First Rain’s Beauty, a fair looking woman clad in armor with a very large tower shield. She looks the part if nothing else.

As the bell rings signalling the start of the match, First Rain’s Beauty planks her shield down in front of her as if to say “Come at me if you can!” So I did. I hit her shield square in the middle, slamming it into her head firmly. She tried to swing her sword at me, but was clearly dazed. She missed by a large margin. I swept around her, ready to finish her off. Something didn’t seem right though. As I closed the distance, I could see the blank look in her eyes as she slowly turned her head to follow my swift movement. She was clearly out of it. As I came in from behind, my fist ready to strike, I pulled my punch. I rested my hand on her shoulder and told her it was over. As soon as the words left my lips, she dropped her equipment and sighed. I had won! But I couldn’t help but be disappointed. The way she had held herself at the start of the match, seemed to shout that she could take me at my best, yet she fell to a single punch. I will make sure to visit her later.

I picked up the chest that Broken Walls had mentioned earlier and headed back to my private competitor tent with him to examine my winnings. Once there, we hadn’t even opened the chest before Obi(Piper) joined us. He was also curious about this chest it seemed. Inside the chest, we find an opal with the brilliance of the stars within. Broken Walls looked at the Opal with wonder. “It’s worth more than the entire Rising Sun House’s holdings” he told me. There were many others interested in this chest as well, so Broken Walls offers to keep the opal safe for me. I nod to him and he seals the opal into his chest piece. The Rest of the prize chest itself was no short of amazing as well. Gold and jewels filled the remainder of it. It was surely worth a small fortune as well. I decided to rush it home to keep it safe. I stash it inside the Rising Sun House’s vault before rushing back to the tournament.

I manage to make it back in time just as Broken Walls steps into the ring for his match. He and Pharo Silver Blood faced off, but the skill difference between the two was too great. Broken Walls easily defeated his opponent.

Once Broken Walls had finished the fight, I decided to go see First Rain’s Beauty in Aster’s tent. She was still there, but she was still concussed. I wished her well, and invited her to to tour Rising Sun House. Perhaps she would be interested in joining the Hero’s Guild, I wondered to myself.
I was surprised once she told me that she had never heard of me before she fought me. I thought for sure she knew of me based off how she stood in the ring. Still, I commended her on her on her efforts. I hope I see her again.

As I exited the tent, I looked around the stands and saw Natasha. I had never seen Natasha before, but her reputation as Champoor’s god of pleasure preceded her. She was indeed attractive, but not so much so that she occupied my attention for more than a moment. There were other, more exciting things to pay attention to today.

Dedecasi’s Demise was up next, against a man by the name of Iron Reed’s Spirit. Broken Walls and I again took our positions, as the creature entered the ring. I won’t let any harm come to the spectators of this event.
The bell had barely rung before Iron Reed’s Spirit dropped his sword and forfeited however. He knew his limits, and Dedecasi’s Demise was far beyond them.

I ran into Aster again once the day’s fights were over. She asked me to take her supplies back to Rising Sun House for her, which I happily agreed to. I quickly returned to the compound to deposit her things before returning to the tournament grounds. Aster had borrowed a few coins from me before I had left, and I saw her eating as she walked back. It was unusual for her to spend anything on herself. She is the kind of person who would give all the food on her plate to somebody in need. She offered me some of the food upon seeing me, though it tasted a bit off.

When we returned to the compound, we found Broken Walls, Piper, and Chaoxi together. We discussed my prize opal, but nobody really knows what it is. Broken Walls insists it is valuable, and I of course believe him. I trust him to keep it safe for me, knowing that the vault of the compound while safe against most thiefs, is still an easy target to somebody with the skill of say, Piper. Not to say that I would fear Piper would take it, just that I know Piper could if he wanted to. And if Piper could, somebody else likely could as well.
Chaoxi thinks she can figure out what it is. She suggests it may be a hearth stone, but isn’t quite sure yet. I agree to let her look at it for a while in hopes we can better understand it.

We discussed the fights to come, but I do not find myself getting excited. Everyone thus far has been a simple opponent. Broken Walls gets to fight Dedecasi’s Demise next, while I get another nobody. He asks for a suggestion as to how best to deal with Dedecasi’s Demise. I suggested ringing him out as Broken Walls had done during preliminary fights, but I somehow doubt Dedecasi’s Demise will fall for such a tactic. I’m sure whatever Broken Walls comes up with will be worthwhile to see.

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Edgar_Grim Lorithad

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