Key couldn't take his eyes off the in slaved humans. Didn't this make coming to the Tiger Fang tribe pointless? Would the Fang family even listen to what he had to say or offer?
Regaining his composure, Key ponder his situation. He could now understand Ethia's odd behavior of always standing in front of him a single step. It was to give the impression that he was her slave.
But two things didn't add up. Why did she perform this action during their travel here as well? And how could this help since she, herself, was a human?
"Let's go to a dining place to try their sushi specialty that is served in this town. It'll let you digest your predicament on a full stomach. I also don't mind answering your question to ease your worries." Ethia did not give him a choice as she began walking to leave the slave site.
"Wasn't there a reason to coming here? I'm sure it wasn't just to explain my difficulties or sightsee." He refused to think it was that simple.
"Well..." Ethia stopped and paused to think over if she should say now instead of waiting. "We are already here. What did you have in mind?" His impression of her wasn't bad since she had shortened his traveling time and there was no telling what could have happened during his weakened state after the fight with that tiger beetle.
However, she was still annoying. It always felt like something was hidden but would slip through his fingers just when he grasped it. Maybe she was using him to get out of a rearrange marriage that was known for people with her status.
"Let's play a game." He watched the excitement fill her eyes. "A game?" Could playing games be helpful at this? Maybe she had used the wrong wording.
"While this wasn't my original goal for coming, I also wish to enter the city of Smelting. The game is a tournament happening in three days, and it's being held in the city. But the thing is, there is a check qualification that takes place here."
Hearing her explanation did not make him thrilled. Since they were before a slave site, the tournament would naturally be between slaves. This much he could glean just from the information so far.
The problem was that slaves would most likely be treated poorly and even asking them to fight to the death wasn't strange. Did the life of a slave have meaning? He doubted it.
"Why do something so dangerous? Since it will involve slaves, killing might be allowed. We should have better options that we haven't explored." He wouldn't agree to this unreasonable thing.
"The Fang family likes blood. And blood from specks is exciting to them, more than anything else." Ethia still insisted on making her case.
"Excuse me, I just happened to hear the word tournament. Have..." Here, a man with orange skin and markings of black stripes walked over before taking a sniff of the air. At this point, he turned his eye to Ethia. "You and your tamed speck decided to sign up? I'm sure nobody will complain about more participants."
Huh? Did he identify their species by scent just now? Ethia wasn't human?
"Yes. You may register my speck into the titled group." Her smile was radiating so much warmth that the man entered into a daze. "Sir?" Embarrassed at his slip of control, the man quickly signed Key up. He didn't even question the fact that a Titleless Adapter was to be fighting titled Adapters.
In a small restaurant was the pair waiting on there meal. The time of battle was schedule tomorrow around noon time. Of the two, Key could be seen drumming his fingers on the table. He also haven't spoken a word to Ethia since leaving the slave site.
"Are you still mad at me for being pushy? You don't need to continue the whole tournament. It's just to have an alibi to enter the city. Otherwise, the Divine Door's protection can't be breached." There was a look of tears forming from her eyes.
Was she that emotional?
"What about the fighting selection? Why the need to fight titled Adapters? Our goal isn't to show off or cause more difficulties for ourselves. Making the challenge to high, we risk failing unnecessarily." How did she want to defend that? She was just playing with him.
"This..." Ethia then gained a troubled look as the previous sad face disappeared.
See? All fake! He wouldn't fall for this type of scam. "Don't do this again or our friendship ends here. I don't like being taken advantage of. For now, we'll think of a better solution for our next step after passing the selections." Hopefully, there wouldn't be too big of a commotion.
"There is one reason for all this." Taking a glass of water, he began to drink. He was impressed, although it was the only two glasses in the restaurant, this was his first time seeing something made of glass here.
"It always gets me excited to think about you on top. You were truly marvelous last time." With a choke, he ended up spitting the water out. Thankfully, it hadn't landed on Ethia.
What is wrong with her? That was on purpose right?
"Not funny. Where did your bodyguard go? He's been gone the whole day." It was better to change the subject. There was no point getting roped into her pace.
Before he could get a reply, their food was hand to them. "Here ma'am, this was asked to be handed to you by the gentleman across the room." The servant bowed before giving a slight hand motion toward a muscular man with faint animals features.
Ethia was not amused. "I do not court debauchees. There is nothing good about them. As a woman, you shouldn't help disgraces like that. In the future, ignore this type of common trash." Her words were loud and offensive. She didn't spare the man any dignity as she also scolded the waitress.
Key on the side cringed. He had just realized something. Ethia was a natural born troublemaker!
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