"Ladies and Gentlemen! We have seen pirates, heroes, mercenaries, and even assassins! We have witnessed one-sided massacres and intense battles! We have even seen a contestant push through the odds and steal victory! But, I assure you that this next fight will be the most intense of them all!"
Bain observed the arena all around right as he walked out. The walls around the area, separating the audience from the contestants, were way too tall to run up and too smooth to climb. There were only two exits, one of which Bain had just came from, to leave. That wouldn't be an option, though, due to all the guards with strange weapons Bain had glimpsed. No, there was no clear escape.
"The first contestant is known for his emblem, The Diamond Triad! He commands armies, rules with an iron fist as Lord of a town, and even conquers the hearts of all his subjects! He is the true form of a General in his land! Let's hear a Serenity cheer for Bain Van Rose, Lord of the Rose family and protector of the Diamond Triad!"
So, they knew Bain? Well, that wasn't too surprising. The real question was where was he. Serenity seemed to be the area's name, or at least the name of a town or city nearby. Maybe they would grant him freedom for winning this arena challenge? Bain raised the sword and shield he had retrieved from the armory he was guided to. His guide had said nothing, but Bain had known even without that.
"Our other contestant is a prince of the Desert Kingdom, Saerein!" On que, a large man in extremely heavy armor walked out of the other entrance to the arena. In his hand he carried a large ax that Bain doubted he would be able to even lift. "Known on the battle field as an unstoppable monster, his fighting prowess is next to none in his homeland. But, unlike a previous contestant, our dear contestant is not without a heart. In fact, he has one big enough for a nation! From giving to the poor to teaching children morals, this man is a saint among saints! Introducing Monstroth Frae, the Noble Giant!"
So, this large man was not to be underestimated. Though, if the announcer was correct, he might be reasonable and not even want to fight. Maybe Bain could convince him to escape together. Surely with two people the chances of success went up, even without having a clear plan.
"Now, let us all enjoy a fight between two true warriors! Diamond Triad! Noble Giant! Fight!"
Bain ignored the answer and instead placed his sword in a belt loop. "Monstroth Frae, I wish to speak to you!"
The giant man seemed to nod, though it was hard to tell behind the large helmet and distance that split the two men. Regardless, Bain walked toward the man, ever ready to pull his blade. That walk lasted much longer than Bain would have liked, being wary as he was. It was always a possibility that Monstroth Frae was a monster and just put on a front to gain support in his land.
The two met in the middle of the arena, both clearly ignoring the crowd shouting for battle. "I am Bain, as you know," Bain said to the armored giant."I would like to discuss this battle, if that is acceptable."
The man nodded. "Forgive me," he said, in a voice much softer than Bain could imagine a man having, "but I thought you were using trickery for an easy win. My name is Monstroth. I no longer carry the name Frae, though these people have not the courtesy to take it out. What about this battle needs discussing?"
"I assume you awoke in a room and were told to choose weaponry from an armory, correct?"
Monstroth nodded. "That is correct. I assumed it was a test by the Scarred Father."
Scarred Father? Maybe a pagan religion? It didn't matter, though. "I do not think this is a test. I believe we are being used for entertainment by this society. I would like to escape and with your help, if possible."
Monstroth shook his head. "I fear that is unacceptable, Bain." Bain tensed, readying himself to dodge any incoming attacks. "I tried to escape before coming here. They have some sort of Mystics that allow for freezing your body."
Bain nodded solemnly. "I guess we have no choice, then." This giant of a man had been honest so far, so Bain decided to at least give him a chance. Bain extended a hand to Monstroth. "To a good, fair fight, friend."
"A cheer of your land? I accept!" Monstroth took the hand and shook it.
For some reason, the crowd cheered this motion.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like our two contestants have shown their respect for each other and agreed on a fair fight! Never has Serenity seen such honest combatants! Let's hear it for these two noble souls!"
Monstroth and Bain separated a ways under the roaring crowd. It seemed as though these people respected fair fights. Well, that made it easier for Bain to go all out. No one would stop him from accepting this challenge, not even his opponent. It was... exciting.
As soon as the crowd's cheering died down some, both men charged one another.