The Arena’s lobby was still filled with plenty of people when Iris came back. That massive hologram in the center of the room was displaying a battle royale between twenty different gladiators. However, the sands had huge stones all over the place, which the fighters were using as cover. The rules allowed relatively weak firearms and ammunition. Although melee weapons weren’t prohibited, it was meant to mostly be long ranged warfare.
“Fucking A, it almost looks like a goddamn paintball game…” Of course, unlike the fun sport, getting shot in the head usually resulted in death. There were a handful of people who wore metal helmets that could deflect or sometimes even stop bullets. Yet, there were also people with magical offensive abilities mixed in. Firebolt was a fairly popular Power. In fact, there were two people in that particular match who were able to telekinetically launch the superheated orbs of plasma.
Unfortunately, the mana-cost was high and the attacks weren’t particularly accurate. The speed was similar to that of a typical arrow, but the main problem was that the farther it traveled, the more the projectile cooled down. At close range it had a lot of force and could blow someone’s head off. By the time the ball of plasma managed to hit the steel breastplate of a woman that was a hundred meters away, it only knocked her down and heated the metal a bit.
A decent amount of gladiators were simply standing around and watching the hologram. They were waiting for their own matches to start, so they didn’t really have anything better to do.
“Are you going to sign up for a fight?” When Iris heard that familiar whisper-like voice, she immediately turned around. There was a small and lithe man wearing an entire outfit that was pitch-black and not even slightly reflective. His eerie obsidian facemask had two large eyeholes, which revealed those ominous golden irises.
She snickered, “Ethan… Yeah, I was going to see what my options were like. I’ve heard about the Arena matches being a lot more complicated than the Fighting Pits, but I’ve never actually experienced one before. I guess I was pretty lucky back when I was a slave, huh?”
“I don’t know if I would consider any slaves ‘lucky’…” The cloaked man murmured “You really shouldn’t try to enter the Arena yet. You don’t even have any weapons.” He had large daggers sheathed behind his back and a revolver holstered on each hip, all of which was so non-reflective that it was difficult for Iris to even notice.
“Well, I was going to pick one where I didn’t need to bring a weapon… I have a bit of confidence in my ability to kill scumbags with my bare hands.” Although she was smirking, it was obviously covered by her white mask.
Ethan sighed, murmuring “If you really want to fight in the Arena, I have a few recommendations…”