“Congratulations Anael, on your fifth easy win in a row! You can leave now…”
After killing Simon, Iris went back to the waiting room. However, it wasn’t long before she was called back for her third fight. It was an old woman who didn’t stand a chance. Then there was a chubby teenage boy, who she pummeled to death with her glove-covered fists. Finally, there was a middle-aged woman, who was kneed in the throat and slowly suffocated.
“I’m starting to get a little hungry… So maybe I should take a break? I need to start placing higher bets now…” It wasn’t just the announcer that was getting annoyed with Iris’ performance. If a fight is too one-sided, then no one will bet on it. Without bets, the Bloodborn Arena wouldn’t make a profit. Sometimes playing it safe, could end up antagonizing the audience. Then it would become counterproductive.
When Iris came to the front desk, that angry goblin was nowhere to be seen. Instead, there was a beefy obsidian-skinned man with huge white goat-horns coming out of his forehead. He was wearing a golden silk robe and lazily sitting on a large silver throne.
Before she could even say anything, he had already tossed four small bronze coins to her while yawning loudly. His eyes were closed and it seemed like he even started snoring within moments.
After placing the ‘Experience Points’ into her right jean pocket, Iris murmured “Shit, I forgot how messy this job was…” There was blood, teeth, guts and even chunks of flesh all over her jacket, shoes, pants and especially her gloves.
As she walked into the pavilion, she immediately tossed her gloves into the nearest trashcan and headed towards the General Store. Instead of going to a laundromat, she just picked out some new clothes and shoes, leaving her dirty laundry in the changing room.
Once she felt a bit more comfortable, she headed over to the Cafeteria. The main area was as chaotic as before, with all sorts of people devouring a wide variety of food… Including living animals, insects and all manner of bodily fluids.
Iris was still only a weak, low-rank human. Even with her Power and the presence of mana within her body, she hadn’t changed much at all. For a healthy person who was in pretty good shape, ten Stamina and Health was only slightly above average.
Since Stamina directly influenced how much energy a person had stored up, those who focused on improving their physical endurance would end up needing to eat far more often. Of course, those who chose to increase their Manapool were in a similar situation.
Thus, the stronger a person became, the more often they would need to eat. Not only would their appetite increase, but the quality of the food they craved would also become greater. At that point, they would need to pay Souls in order to feed themselves. Even if they were able to earn more Souls, their upkeep would keep them from ever truly becoming wealthy.
It was a vicious cycle… One could even surmise that it was a trick. Although the gladiators had ‘freedom’, it was debatable whether or not they were anything more than indentured servants.