Shao Xuan entered the battle arena with Su Gu and the rest.
The gigantic arena was made of stone. There were seats for audiences lined around the pit, and there was a huge depression at the centre. This was similar to the smaller pits in the city but this pit was a lot more structured and larger.
The deep pit reminded Shao Xuan of the pit at Bat Mountain.
Around the pit were stone walls made of huge stone slabs. They looked like they were of good quality too. To the many slaves who did not get the opportunity to work with good quality materials, this was a luxury.
The lords of various cities, with their slaves and slave masters, sat at their respective seats.
There were hanging tapestries designed to block out the sun or snow where the lords sat. A few sticks of engraved bamboo had been placed so the slaves could tie the fabric to them. Even if there was no sun, it would function to block out the wind and snow.
The hosts of this game were naturally the lords of three major cities, they rotated every year. This year involved the lord of Snow Plains City.
Lord Snow Plains first instructed his men to give the Great Slave Master of each city the battle schedules of the day. Su Gu looked at Su Lun, then held up four fingers at Shao Xuan. This meant White Stone City’s battle was the fourth battle of the day.
“The first battle goes to Snow Plains City, they have arranged to open the event--- the young master of Snow Plains will personally do it!” gasped Su Gu. There were no details on the schedule other than numbers. However, the opening battle was the exception- it was written in full detail, huge paragraphs dedicated to praising the young master of Snow Plains.
The battles here mostly served as entertainment for the Great Slave Masters and an opportunity for redemptions to the slaves. However, to the slave masters- especially young masters with their eyes on the throne- would use this event to impress their seniors and prove their capabilities. Their reputation would greatly improve if they won.
The arena fell silent once Lord Snow Plains announced the battle’s commencement.
Within the pit was the deafening sound of a giant stone door being lifted.
Shao Xuan turned to look when he heard the rumble. He was sure this heavy stone door was made of the best material, much better than the stone slabs on the walls too. Such good material would’ve been used to make weapons back at the tribe- and here, it was used to make a door! That was a whole solid slab of rock too, it wasn’t a few pieces combined. It must’ve been difficult to find a slab of this size.
He compared its quality with the weapons in the slaves’ hands, then at the facilities within the arena. If his tribesmen were here, they would not be able to comprehend the slave masters’ way of living. Wasn’t this such a waste?! This was the ultimate prodigal behaviour!
Once the heavy door was lifted, there was no giant, ferocious beast. There was just a man, clad in shiny armour- a lot shinier than the golden fur Shi Shu wore.
This was the young master of Snow Plains City, here to participate in the opening battle.
Shao Xuan was stunned for a moment, shocked to see him. It wasn’t because of his looks but his flashy outfit- Shao Xuan was in awe.
Anyone who’d grown up in an environment with only stone and ceramics would also be shocked to see a man clad in metal armour!
Shao Xuan had wondered if there was metal ore here after seeing that piece of gold that Su Gu had guarded so fiercely. He had never encountered ore suitable to be harvested, he thought the materials of this world must be quite different. He thought there would be no ore to be found, or if there was, it would be difficult to find so he’d given up completely. The desert slave masters he’d met had never worn metal either, even knives were made of stone just like his, just more extravagant.
Now, he was proved wrong.
The young master of Snow Plains was wearing a suit of armour, its colour close to gold. The huge axe in his hand resembled gold too. There were etchings on the handle, the blade was round.
Was it gold?
No, that’s impossible.
Shao Xuan was shaken with such a thought. Bronze? Did Snow Plains City have mines?
He turned to the rest of the slave masters. Other than jealousy and hatred, he did not see any signs of surprise. This meant they all knew of the existence of this metal.
“What, surprised?” said Su Gu with a grin. “It’s made of rock but almost 99% of this rock belongs to the three major cities.”
It must be ore.
Rocks where metal could be extracted from, and this was in the hands of the three major cities. But where was the ore from?
“Drives you insane, right?” Su Gu stared at the shiny armour and axe with strong envy in his eyes. He muttered, “Power, and cunning.”
He seemed to have thought of something. Turning to Shao Xuan, he spoke in a low voice, “Although other people also possess this rock outside of the three major cities, they’re mostly gifts given by the three cities. These materials are all in each lord’s hands, for example my father’s knife. And you tribe people are always eyeing for it.”
Shao Xuan’s eye twitch. Did Su Gu imply that other tribes were eyeing metal from the three major cities?
No wonder he felt like tribespeople from the desert always had some secret. Looks like one of the secrets was this metal!
In the pit, the young master of Snow Plains, in his shiny armour with the axe in his hand, roared at the skies.
Before the audience could react, the people of Snow Plains had erupted to cheer their young master on. Their enthusiasm could be felt deep in your bones.
Another heavy stone door was opened.
A giant beast, ten meters tall, walked into the pit. It looked tough and heavy with its thick, muscular limbs and solid torso, resembling a hornless rhinoceros. There was a thud at every step, sand flew as it walked. Its green skin was dry and cracked- was it sick?
Shao Xuan heard someone whisper to Su Gu, “This beast doesn’t look like much.”
Not just the people of Fallen Leaves, the rest of the audience could tell that this beast was just huge. In terms of aggressiveness, it would not compare to any of the other beasts at the fighting pits. This animal even looked like a herbivore! They did not know where the people of Snow Plains had gotten it but it definitely wasn’t from the desert.
Some started to scoff. It was no wonder the young master was confident enough to open the event, he’d chosen such a weak animal! It was ridiculous.
However, the people of Snow Plains started to argue, “Why not you do it then? So what if the animal looks different? At least our young master dares participate in a battle!”
The mockery stopped. These people knew that even if you were up against a weaker beast, it was still a beast. There was still huge risk in fighting in a pit- you could be squashed into pulp with just one foot, and if anything happened during a fight, medical help might not get to you in time. They still liked being alive.
Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!
The huge being ambled into the pit. Perhaps it wasn’t used to being here, hence it unleashed a roar as if to show how powerful it was.
The deep, thunderous roar echoed across the arena.
As if it was a signal, before the roar stopped, the young slave masters started to shout too.
“WOO---AH! WOO---AH! KILL! KILL!”
There were many opinions in the audience regarding the young master’s flashy armour and the beast but with enthusiasm was infectious. Who had time to think now? They were all here to enjoy themselves, even some of the polite female slave masters squealed and screamed.
In a moment, the entire arena erupted like a pot of boiling water.
There were a thousand people from each city present- including Great Slave Masters and their men, then there were even more people from the three major cities. In total, there were almost ten thousand people in the audience.
The oval arena was like a vortex sucking everybody in. No matter how calm a person in the audience was, excitement would still bleed into them from the crowds.