Early Successes

Phovos stood at her balcony, watching the chaotic battle unfold below her. She was immensely enjoying her newest House Fighter. Even in his current temporary set of armour, he had beaten the shit out of several hot-headed Cassids in their stupid dumb mechs. That always caused the crowds to cheer, although Phovos was never keen on the slurs the Vrekans in the audience would tend to use.

A fifth Cassid fell. The House Fighter turned to the audience and waved. The crowd erupted in cheers. For some reason, they liked this new guy more than they’d enjoyed the last Threan-type House Fighter. Maybe it was the underdog vibe. Maybe it was the fact this guy was genuinely smaller and looked kinda cute in that armour he was using. They could see some actual features, he wasn’t a completely obscured monster.

“Are you impressed?” Lokmahro asked as he landed next to her. He was absolutely massive compared to Phovos, but somehow he was elegantly perched on the edge of the balcony.

“I don’t need to be impressed. I knew this was going to work.”

Lokmahro tutted. “Sure you did. But why? What is so special about Threan-type Rethans?”

“They’re cute.” Phovos’s answer was abrupt and incomplete. She was watching a new fight. Since these were just challenger battles, and not even particularly important ones (mostly just first stages with newer challengers), she had other beings doing announcements and all that other stuff.

Unfortunately, this battle was incredibly short, with the Cassid’s mech hardly even working and the House Fighter making short work of them. There were a handful of boos in the crowd. Immediately, the House Fighter realised they should have made the fight last longer regardless.

“He adapts nicely,” Lokmahro admitted. “But I still do not understand why so many like these little fighters. Yes, they are more fun to watch than heavier, more lumbering fighters, but why are our more agile Thanatian House Fighters nowhere near as popular?”

Phovos sighed. “You really want to know? Honestly, you’re older than I am, you should have worked it out already.”

“Well, I have only been assisting you with the DBA for about five years.”

Below, the last challenger for the day had appeared. It was a heavily armoured Banikan. They were always popular as well, and were uncommon as challengers. Mostly because they were quite easy to enrage and rather dangerous beings, almost all Banikans had to undergo testing before being allowed in arena matches. On top of their sheer strength, they were also rather wild magic users. There had been several incidents in the past where out-of-control magic had badly injured others.

“I’ve been doing this for a good long time. I’ve seen societies evolve during said time…”

The fight was quite interesting. To an untrained eye, it would seem that both challenger and House Fighter were equal, but Phovos could tell that the House Fighter was extending the fight and controlling the battle.

“I’ve seen species go from being slaves to being free and back again. I’ve witnessed cities rise and fall. I’ve seen a lot of change…”

The House Fighter was now dominating the fight, running rings around the Banikan.

“Threan-types are incredibly dangerous, but incredibly small and cute. There is both a superiority and an underdog feeling to them. To Thanatians, Banikans and Vrekans, they are seen as cute little critters. To normal Rethans, they are considered as newcomers and underdogs, showing their true strength. To Vohra and Bayvak, they are considered equals. To Cassids, they are curiosities. To older Rethans, they are considered to be doing what they were bred to do, kept safe away from ‘normal’ Rethans…”

“Pardon me…” Lokmahro interrupted. “Are you suggesting that the Rethan crowds here see Threan-type warriors as being in their proper place?”

“To older ones, yes. It’s only been a hundred or so years since Threan-types gained the same rights as all other Rethans, and only a year or so since Ksa re considered free beings.”

Lokmahro grunted. “That is unfair. I expected better.”

“You’re saying that as a Thraki, a race known for its superiority complex over normal Thanatians!” Phovos laughed mockingly. Lokmahro remained silent and went back to watching the match.

The House Fighter had pretty much won. The crowds were all happily cheering as the Banikan surrendered.

“We’re onto a good thing, Lokmahro. Just go with the flow!” Phovos smiled as things began to quiet down. “Now, come with me. We’ve got a Dessaron battle to prepare for…”