"Hey man, good job out there. I heard this was your last one. Glad I didn't get pulled to go against you, huh? You've really been here a year? No one makes it a year. No one makes it more'n a month, man. They started lettin people go after two a couple weeks back. Today was my two month. So I-"
"I have no idea how you made it this far, Alton. Probably annoyed your opponent to death, eh?"
"You're funny Silus. Anyway, I heard some rumors from some of the guys who want in on some of the fights, they-"
"Why they would want in this place I don't know. They're likely to get themselves killed."
"They said that there're some goblins or something in one of the caves in the hills back here, they say they've got a great lot of treasure to be had! We could go and get it? Huh? What do you think?"
"I think you did a fine job out there today Silas." That was Brutus, a big, burly man, who was large more from spending too much time at his table than from anything involving activity. "Although, you know, you could have drawn it out a little longer. Toyed with him. But that's all show. Good for the money. Ha" His belly bounced as he chuckled. "BUt. If you want, you are free to go. You are officially the champion of this Arena. Welcome to stay and fight, too. For pay of course." He added hurriedly.
"I think I'll be leaving" Silas said coolly.
"Well, we have something of a prize for you. It's a somewhat, ah, better sword than you've been using, and some armor that hasn't been torn to scraps. Heh. Hope you appreciate it."
"Greatly. I'll be going then."
"Silas! Wait up! We gonna go goblin hunting? That's a nice sword he gave you. I wonder if I can find a nice sw-"
"Alton. Shut up. Yes we can go goblin hunting, but only if you shut up. OK? Good."
Gods it'll be good to be out of this hellhole. I just wonder what I'm going to do with myself.
Making his way through the bustles of people near the main entrance, Silas had to keep reminding himself that he was not about to be assaulted. It was weird, being around all those people and all that noise, and not in imminent danger, not in a fight.
"You there. Gladiator" called a voice from the crowd. Silas looked around, he and Alton were the only ones leaving. "Godd**n it, I'm leaving now" He growled, continuing to push his way through.
The voice caught up to them "There you are. Earned a lot of money today, thanks to you, Silas."
"Great. I'm leaving, so bet on someone else." He turned to walk away
"If you're leaving, the mayor of Sarenton I heard is looking for a strong arm or two to help in something. You seem to be able to handle yourself, so you might want to look into it."
"Sure. Politics. Great. Come on, Alton. Let's go get some goblins."
Silas felt weary of all the people, and just wanted, strangely enough, to do something he was good at: fight. At least if they found any goblins the little buggers would deserve it, they had raided and looted nearly all the villages near his home and killed livestock there. Hunting goblins was not something Silas was unused to.
The Arena had given them both some basic "adventuring gear" as they called it, a bag with a torch and flint inside, and a sleeping bag. Cheap enough stuff, but functional. To a point.
The two got near the cave that was supposed to be housing the goblins, and they could tell. It reeked of the creatures. "Well, it looks, ah, smells, like we're here. Don't go charging off, they can see us a lot better than we can see them. And they're little buggers, so they're hard to hit."
"Uh-huh." Alton was wrinkling his nose, and for once not jabbering on about something. He actually looked focused.
"Shall we then?" Silas lit his torch and proceeded into the cave, making sure Alton was with him.
"Uhhhuhuhmmm..." murmured Alton.
"What it is?"
"This might not be su-such a gr-great idea.."
"Don't worry. There's not going to be a lot of them, and they really aren't that tough. Or really smart either. Heh."
"It's not that. Oh, never m-mind. Can I c-carry the t-t-torch?"
"Hah. Sure. If it makes you feel better. Don't tell me you're afraid of the dark?"
"Of course not! well maybe a little..."
"Well then let's kick some goblin ass"
They walked some ways through the cave, when Alton stopped. "What's that?"
"What's what? oh" There were 4 red orbs dully glowing at them from the darkness beyond the torchlight. "Those are our first goblins." He drew his sword and motioned for Alton to do the same. "We have no surprise on them, but they don't on us either."
The goblins saw the glint of steel being drawn as they were already running towards the intruders.