Between Michael and Sarah, they only had nineteen silver and fifty-two copper. Elina had more than a gold, but she was unconscious and in Companion-slot three.
As the two walked down the street, quite a few gazes fell onto them; most of which were aimed at the strange Bloodworm-Goblin, but others were drawn in by the surprisingly potent aura that was emanating from the relatively short Human. It wasn’t that his Aura stat was absurdly high, just that he had no idea how to conceal it.
After a few minutes of wandering around, Michael finally found what he was looking for. It was a store called “Only Cores” which as the name suggested, only bought and sold mana-cores.
Sarah complained “Is this the place you were talking about?” It was true that she was rather obsessed with powerful mana-cores for most of her life… but that was before she realized how easy they were to obtain.
However, he just sighed and told her “Of course not, but I need to have a few gold to start-out with, or I won’t have anything to gamble with.” as he approached the counter. Not only was there a rather imposing Orcish man by the door, there were also three other physically imposing guards standing around the relatively large room.
Only a handful of customers were walking around and browsing the goods, but Michael frowned as he recognized the manager of the store. The old man who lacked eyes, immediately faced the two familiar auras and said “If it isn’t The Immortal, are you here to buy or sell?”
Glancing around and scanning the various mana-cores, it was easy to tell that most of them lacked an Affinity, were under level-five, and rank-G. Also, only half of them belonged to magical-beasts, while the rest were from humanoids.
A luminescent white-pearl appeared in the palm of Michael’s hand, and when he placed it onto the counter, Carlos started grinning: exposing a mouth full of rotten, blackened teeth. The old man told him “I can give you five gold coins for it.”
If he had decided to auction the rank-F, level-nine, Elite White Bengal Tiger’s mana-core, he most likely could have gotten six or seven times that much. However, it would have taken a few days, and he didn’t want to waste anymore time.
Michael nodded his head, and quickly accepted the payment, before leaving the store without actually speaking. The moment he emerged from the building, he took in a deep breath and yelled “Holy shit! That place smelled like a fuckin sewer! How the hell are you still fine?!”
The worm-girl shrugged and said “I’m pretty sure there were some rotting corpses in the back room… Well, I’m used to being around Goblins, so I guess I just learned to ignore it.”
He sighed dramatically and then pointed across the street, at a gigantic three-story building. Then he revealed “That’s the place where we’re gonna make our fortune!”
It was called “Chaotica Casino” and guarding the entrance were two level-ten, rank-F Ogre Warriors. Sarah couldn’t read the giant sign above the huge golden double-doors, but she just silently followed after him.
As they entered, he immediately walked towards one of the counters on the right. The old Human woman didn’t say anything, and simply waited for him to place the five gold coins in front of her.
She quickly accepted them and pulled out a small crystalline card, which had the casino’s logo on it, she said “When you wanna cash-out, come back here and return this to one of the cashiers.”
Michael snickered and told her “Thank you very much.” before finally entering into the main gambling hall. He sighed and complained “What’s with all this magical technology? Ugh, they even have slots…”
However, his goal wasn’t to play cards, roulette, or any of the other games that were spread about the room. When the two of them went up to the second floor, the atmosphere wasn’t nearly as leisurely and calm.
There was an incredibly loud metal concert playing on one end, and a rowdy bar on the other. Sarah yelled “Just what the fuck did we come here for anyway?!” as they continued up the stairs, to the third floor.
In the center of the room, there was a huge hexagonal platform, with an enchanted steel, chain-link cage surrounding it. There were at least a couple hundred spectators sitting on elevated benches, and inside of the ‘ring,’ two Orcish swordsmen were dueling with each-other.
Michael snickered and explained “Isn’t it obvious? We’re here to gamble!” as they walked towards a registration counter. A smirk appeared on the little girl’s face as she watched one of the two Orcs decapitate the other; then a wave of cheers erupted from the audience, followed by a decent amount of boos and angry shouts.
It was free to watch the matches, because the casino made plenty of money from the betting. However, they also earned a decent amount off of the deceased fighters corpses and mana-cores.
When he heard the explanation from the female-Goblin organizer, Michael complained “So basically, we get paid one gold per win, and if we lose, you get to keep our corpses and items. Well, whatever, it’s fine… Okay, sign us up for a 2v2 match, and I’d like to place a five-gold bet that we’ll win.”
The extremely small woman frowned and told him “Sorry sir, but we only have single combat here…”
Michael sighed and asked “Okay, then sign this little brat up for the first match and put me in the second. Can I place the five-gold on her? Or is there some rule against Companions betting on each-other?”
Hearing that, the Goblin smiled and said “That’s fine, but you should know… The next fight is against him.” while pointing towards the ring. In the ring was a huge, two-meter tall green-skinned man, with dark-red tattoo’s all over his scarred body, a giant iron claymore in each of his hands, and above his head was displayed “Garath the Decapitator, Level-12 Orc Berserker, rank-F.”
Sarah snickered as an obsidian blade emerged from her palm, then her pitch-black eyes glared at the organizer, before she sneered and disappeared in a puff of smoke. The headless corpse of the previously defeated challenger was still laying in the middle of the octagon, when the little tiger-fur clad worm-girl, teleported a few meters away from her opponent.
Using that spell dropped her mana down to 10/20, but it was rapidly regenerating. There were several betting booths, so within a few minutes, hundreds of people were able to place their bets.
The odds were fifteen to one that Garath would win, but Michael was just smirking the entire time. He didn’t even bother walking away from the organizer’s counter and just ‘Whispered’ “Good luck, though I don’t think you’ll need it, hehe~.”
Sarah smiled as she suddenly received a message: “New Quest: Gain ten successive victories in Chaotica Arena. Reward: One hundred experience-points and a piece of equipment.”
Jeers such as “Oi Garath, kill that ugly bitch!” or “Ew, what the fuck is that thing?!” and “Be careful, she’s a sneaky little monster!” resounded around the arena.
However, Michael channeled mana into his voice and roared “Shut the fuck up!” A combination of ‘Deafening Noise’ and ‘Intimidation’ was released on the entire audience, and a slew of debuffs were issued to nearly everyone in the room: especially the organizer, who was right next to him.
Only a handful of people who were over level-eight were able to resist the terrifying and painful shout. After a few moments, the announcer said “O-okay, everyone already knows Garath the Decapitator… but this unknown and obviously very strange-looking girl named Sarah will be his next opponent. Match start!”
The hulking Orc was only wearing a chainmail kilt, and some iron boots, his face had horrible blade-scars, and his left eye was actually completely white. With huge tusks sticking out of his mouth, he snarled and growled at his next prey.
After so many years as an adventurer, and then a pit-fighter, he wasn’t foolish enough to let his guard down against a smaller opponent; especially not if she was obviously an assassin. The moment that she vanished in a puff of black smoke, he immediately turned around and used his left claymore to parry the small, obsidian blade, then swiftly swung the second one downward.