Chapter 14: Let's Dance
The staff entered the locker rooms, told them that they were next, and left.
"All right chica, vamonos," said Alonso, who started to head to the ring.
"Yeah!" Said Lea, who was ready for anything, and followed her team to the ring. In the other room, Karen and her team prepared to head to the ring.
"Time to perform," said Ruth as a little joke.
"With passion," said Karen in a serene manner and followed her team to the ring. Both boxers arrived at the arena and received the cheers from the audience. Lea didn't notice, but the press was sitting on the front seats, which were close to the ring. They all wanted to see Karen in action and none of them was looking at Lea because they didn't consider her important enough at the moment. Also, they wanted an interview with Karen because they believed that she would be the victor of that match and the winner of the tournament. Both boxers climbed into the ring and got to their respective corners. Then, they waited for the announcer to present them and for the referee to go over the rules. Lea had her hair loose because it wasn't too long. Karen had long hair, so it was required that she put it in a bun. Once the announcer and the referee were done with their parts, both boxers were waiting for the bell to ring. Before that, their respective coaches tried to give them some last advice before the match began.
"Remember, Karen, Specter has insane power behind her punches, you have to keep moving and attack when the opportunity presents itself. You simply won't be able to take too many, if any, of her punches," said Ruth.
"Do not worry yourself, Ruth, I do not plan to simply put a good performance, I plan to win the match," said Karen. She wasn't showing any worry, but excitement. On Lea's corner, Alonso went over Lea's plan against Karen.
"Karen will use her movements to find some unguarded area to attack, or entice you to attack. Don't rush it, fight carefully, and strike when it matters," said Alonso.
"Don't worry, coach, I won't let her guide me to her trap, I'll be the one leading," said Lea. She was showing no hesitation and she was ready to win. After going over their battle plans, if any, the announcers ordered the seconds to leave the ring, which they follow without complain. After that, the boxers prepared themselves to put their lives in the match and to see who will be the victor of the match. It didn't matter whether they were ready or not, because the bell ringed.
Both boxers leave their corners with an unexpected speed. They immediately dashed forward and reached each other in the middle of the ring. Everyone expected their fists to start flying, but instead, they stopped at punching distance and simply stared at each other. Lea had her usual Peek-a-boo style, while Karen had no guard at all. She kept her arms hanging to the sides. Instead of raising her guard, she started to sway from side to side and going at her own rhythm. That made many believe that it was a taunt for Lea. Lea didn't respond and simply kept staring, waiting for an opportunity to attack. Karen kept her swaying going, thinking whether to go to the left or to the right. She was also looking for any holes in Lea's guard, knowing that Lea wasn't going to be an easy opponent.
"Well, this dance isn't for one." Karen decided to attack and see where it led. Karen moved to Lea's left, and Lea attacked with a left jab. Karen dodged by turning sideways and bending back. Then, Karen retaliated with a right uppercut to Lea's chin, which was hard to call it an uppercut because it lacked the proper form. Karen believed to have landed the punch, but she was surprised by the sight of Lea blocking the punch with the left arm. Then, she prepared to launch a downward right punch. Karen spun away to recover her balance and stood upright, but remaining in punching range with Lea. "Well, you are full of surprises, Specter. This is getting more exciting by the moment," thought Karen, and Lea had other thoughts in mind.
"That was close, good thing the coach made me train my punch recovery. Otherwise, that would have landed cleanly," thought Lea. Whatever the boxers were thinking, the audience loved what they saw and couldn't wait to see the rest of the match.
On Karen's corner, Ruth was surprised by Lea's quick recovery of her punches, but the surprise left her very quickly and remained calm.
"That was unexpected. Most in-fighters tend to fall for Karen's counters, since she can dodge at the strangest angles. Specter must have trained to recover her punch quickly and prepare for the counter attack. Well, simply blocking and defending won't be enough. We would still have the advantage in points," thought Ruth. Just like Karen's corner, Lea's corner was also calm about the situation because they expected the results of Lea's training to show.
"That's it, chica, just like we trained for. You better be ready, Karen, because this is just the beginning," thought Alonso.
Back into the fight, Karen tried to keep circling around Lea at a tremendous speed. Karen planned to get out of Lea's sight so that she could deliver a surprise attack from the other side. Lea's tail didn't seem to get in the way of Karen's movement because she would just slid over it and keep going. In normal boxing, stepping someone's foot was illegal. Lamias have no feet, and didn't seem to impede someone's movement, so they don't consider it illegal to slid over another Lamia's tail. Karen circled around Lea, but Lea managed to keep up and didn't let Karen get out of sight. Lea knew that if she did, then she would be in trouble.
"I can't keep this up for long. I have to stop her movements," thought Lea. She decided to use her plan and feinted a right straight, which Karen fell for and moved to the right. Karen realized that it was a feint and saw Lea throw a left jab at Karen's face. Karen barely avoided the punch by spinning with the punch and moved away from Lea.
"That was a nice move, Specter," thought Karen in surprise. She didn't expect that feint from Lea. At that moment, Karen decided to be more careful because she won't know what punch was going to be real. Failing to realize which one was real or false might cost her the match. The fight was quickly turning into a battle for control, and both boxers were ready to fight for it. Karen rushed in and attempted to move to Lea's right, but she planned to be more aggressive about it. Lea followed as always, but Karen spun while moving and threw a right hook at the left side of Lea's guard. Lea ducked in time and followed with a left uppercut to Karen's body, but Karen spun with the punch. Then, Karen stopped and retaliated with a right hook to Lea's head. Lea moved to Karen's left and retaliated with a right straight to Karen's head. Karen quickly turned, bent back, and landed a right uppercut on Lea's chin. Since Karen lacked power, the punch didn't cause as much damage. Lea slid away from Karen, but Karen followed because she didn't want to lose the upper hand. Lea saw that and feinted with a left jab, which Karen fell for again and started to bend back. She quickly realized what it was and stopped moving. Instead of moving forward, Karen slid back and kept her distance from Lea.
A minute had passed and the audience was enjoying the match. The audience was cheering for both boxers, unable to wait for more of that fierce fight. At that point, Karen decided to go with a different approach and she put it into action immediately. Karen moved forward and Lea attempted a feint jab, which Karen didn't fell for. Lea quickly threw a real jab and was dodged with the usual bending. Karen stood upright, kept moving forward, and got so close to Lea, that only the most compact punches could be launched. Once again, Karen started to move around Lea, and in respond, Lea tightened her guard. Karen attacked from the right, but it turned out to be a simple tap, making a right punch to Lea's body the real attack. Lea didn't fall for the trap and blocked the attack with the left arm. Lea lifted her right elbow, indicating a right hook, which made Karen turn and bend back while throwing an upward right punch. Lea dodged the punch by leaning back, moved in, and threw a downward right punch. Karen spun and barely dodged the punch, positioning herself to Lea's right, and threw a left punch at Lea's head. Lea ducked the punch, turned towards Karen, and threw a left hook at Karen's body. Karen decided to move with the punch while moving forward. Karen got closer to Lea, and got so close, that their bodies were touching. Their faces were inches away from each other, and at that moment, Karen decided to wink at Lea. After that, Karen moved away from Lea. It didn't necessarily angered Lea, but she realized that she was getting nowhere at that rate. At that point, Lea heard Alonso giving her advice from the corner.
"Chica, aim for the body, stop her movements and attack the head!"
"That's a good idea, without her movements, she won't be able to dodge so much. All I have to do now is to just land a good hit, just one, and it will go to my advantage," thought Lea and got a new target: Karen's body
In the audience, the duo of Lea's friends were watching the match and were still amazed at how Karen just dodged a punch from such a difficult angle.
"Well, that's something you don't normally see, but to think that she has such flexibility and movements," said Alinda, who could hardly believe it. In her opinion, it would have been easier for an out-boxer to just slid back, but Karen bent like nothing in the middle of an in-fight.
"Okay, so it is impressive, but if Lea gets a single blow on Karen's body, all that fancy movement is going to disappear. I'm sure the coach already figured that out," said Salena.
"That is a good plan, but is it easy to pull off?" asked Alinda with a serious face.
It was easier said than done, but Lea didn't mind because she was ready to keep trying as long as it took. With that in mind, she charged in.
"My, aren't we eager? Not that I'm complaining." Karen moved forward and got into punching distance, where Lea threw a real left jab. Karen avoided the punch by moving to the left. Lea threw a right uppercut at Karen's body, but Karen spun while moving to the left and retaliated with a left hook to Lea's head. Lea blocked with the right shoulder, and after that, she attempted to feint with a right jab. Karen didn't fall for it because she knew that Lea wasn't a Southpaw. Karen moved behind Lea, but Lea knew that Karen was coming from Lea's left side. Lea started to turn to the left and threw a right hook at Karen's body. Karen dodged it by sliding back and spinning with the punch. The audience responded to that show of skill, speed, and technique, but most importantly, to both boxers. Karen decided to make the first move, on what she considered the next dance, and moved forward. Lea didn't throw any attack as Karen got closer. Lea simply tightened her guard and waited for Karen to get close. Just as Lea wanted, Karen got very close to Lea and they attacked once again. Karen started with a left punch as she moved to Lea's left. The punch was blocked with the Peek-a-boo, and Lea knew that Karen was coming from the right. Lea lifted her left elbow for a hook to Karen's body, and Karen spun while moving to the left to avoid it, but it was a feint. Lea followed Karen's movements and threw a right hook at Karen's body. Karen was prepared for a feint, so she saw the punch and quickly changed directions. Karen saw the opportunity to attack Lea's head with a right straight, but the hook that Lea was throwing was a feint and blocked with the left arm. Lea shoved the arm away and threw a right hook at Karen's head, which Karen dodged by bending back. Karen quickly stood upright, but Lea quickly attacked with a left hook to Karen's body. Karen didn't know if it was a feint or a real punch, so she did the only thing that she could do in that position, she moved forward.
Two minutes have passed and the moment of truth arrived. Lea's hook landed on Karen, but she was prepared for that occasion and blocked with the right arm. Lea's punch was strong enough to send Karen sliding to the side. Karen recovered quickly, but her arm started to feel numb.
"So that's her famous punch, her power is unbelievable, one of those could knock me down quickly. Very interesting," thought Karen, who didn't feel fear. In fact, she liked the challenge. The most dangerous dances tended to get the audience on their feet. Lea charged in and attempted another feint with a right hook. Karen didn't back off and moved forward, leaving only inches away from each other. They didn't make a single move, they were staring at each other, waiting for the other one to make a move, waiting to see an opportunity, a mistake. Karen started to sway slowly, getting into a rhythm, but Lea wasn't going to allow that. Lea attempted a left hook, which was intended to be a feint. Karen didn't fell for it and kept swaying, and Lea decided to throw a real right hook. Karen turned to the side, bent back, and retaliated with a right uppercut to Lea's chin. Lea dodged the punch by leaning back and tried to catch Karen with a right downward punch, but Karen spun and moved to Lea's right. From there, Karen attacked with a right straight to Lea's head. Lea blocked with the right shoulder and retaliated with a left hook to Karen's body. Karen spun in the spot, deflecting the power of the punch and hitting Lea's side of the head with a right hook. That didn't stop Lea and attacked with a right uppercut to Karen's body. Karen moved to the right while spinning and threw a right hook, which Lea blocked with the left arm. Then, Lea pushed the arm away and threw a right hook at Karen's body. Karen avoided damage by spinning with the punch and threw a left hook, which Lea ducked.
On Karen's corner, things were starting to look for the better.
"I was a little surprised when I saw just how far Specter sent Karen flying with a single punch, but Karen is getting used to it. She's even getting used to the feints, which made me a little worried, but not anymore. I wonder what else you have in stock, Specter," thought Ruth. Meanwhile, Alonso didn't like where the flow of the match was going.
"Karen is better than I thought, she's already starting to get used to the chica. However, I know that she won't stop so easily. Remain calm, and think carefully, there must be a way to land a punch against this boxer," thought Alonso.
The in-fight continued, and it didn't seem like Lea was winning, even though it was her specialty. Karen's flexibility and agility made her a difficult opponent to hit. Karen was even capable of punching from unbelievable angles, making it easy for her to counter any punch. After an endless barrage of attacks, both Karen and Lea suddenly stopped, and both boxers simply stared at each other. Lea started to think on how to attack Karen, but Lea knew that her normal attacks wouldn't reach Karen as long as she could move freely. Then, Lea found a way to attack Karen, but it was a little risky. Still, Lea wouldn't hesitate, especially since she knew that she would come out on top because of her toughness. Lea waited for the right moment, which came from a right hook to her head. Lea took that as an opportunity to make it a simultaneous exchange with a left hook to Karen's body. Unfortunately, Karen used a feint and spun with Lea's punch while moving to the right. Karen retaliated with a right straight to Lea's head, landing without problem and making Lea stagger away from Karen.
"Dammit, what am I doing? I rushed it, just when I was trying to avoid that," thought Lea, who was starting to fall on Karen's rhythm without realizing it. To avoid that, she started to get her mind straight and she focused on the match. While doing that, she started to hear music in her head. "Where is that coming from? Maybe she punched me too hard?" Lea was brought out of her thoughts by the sight of Karen charging in. Lea put her guard back and Karen got very close again. Once close, Karen simply kept swaying slowly from side to side, thinking how to start her attack. Looking at Karen, Lea started to remember her dancing lesson with Julie and what the instructor said. Lea remembered hearing about flowing with the music. Lea looked at Karen again, and that was when it dawned on Lea. "That's it! I know what to do now!" As Lea started to see how to put it into action, the bell ringed, announcing the end of the first round. The referee stepped between them and both boxers started to slid to their own corners.
Lea arrived to her corner and sat on the stool, showing that she was surprisingly more tired than she let on.
"Rest up, chica. You did well out there, you've avoided a lot of her punches, and those that landed didn't seem to do too much damage to you," said Alonso.
"Yeah…but having to concentrate to such a degree is really making me tire," said Lea, who was taking deep breaths.
"Yeah, both mind and body work together in all sports."
"It's okay, I finally got it." That confused Alonso.
"I was trying to break her rhythm and put her on my rhythm, but that won't do against her."
"Then, what are you going to do?"
"I'll become one with her."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Instead of forcing her to move or following her, I have to get in the same rhythm as her. That way, I will know where she will go and lead her to where I want to."
"This is sounding like a dance, but it seems to be the best we can do so far. Don't drop the plan of punching her in the body, without those movements, she'll be easier to handle."
"Don't worry, coach, if it goes as planned, I might even land a hit on the head." It wasn't the brightest plan, but it gave Lea more hope for victory.
"Good, but it has to be in this round. I really don't think it will work in the next round once she finds out what you're trying to do. Karen might try to change her rhythm to get you confused and attack you."
"Yeah, I didn't think that far ahead."
"Don't worry, it's a good idea for something that you just got in the middle of the fight. Now, let's get you fixed up for the next round." Alonso felt a little proud to have such a good boxer, but didn't want to show it because he didn't want Lea to let it go to her head.
"I must admit, I'm a little nervous about this match. Karen is better at in-fighting, if this drags on, we will lose in points. If not, then we might lose by KO. This next round must the last round." On the other corner, things weren't as heavy as in Lea's corner, but Karen's was in alert.
"That was a good round for us. We got the points in this one. Now, keep going like in the last round and victory should be ours," said Ruth in confidence.
"It certainly was a nice performance, but nowhere to my expectations. Then again, Specter has lasted longer than my previous opponents. I must commend her for that," said Karen, who was showing signs of getting a little tired, but she maintained a serene mind.
"I agree with you, I was getting a little nervous that she dodged and blocked so many of your attacks. I was even more nervous when she was throwing feints in her punches."
"I was surprised myself. She made the performance quite exciting for me. I wish we could keep going like this a little bit longer."
"I wouldn't push your luck, I know you like seeing people with passion and all, but if you're not careful, you could get hurt here." Ruth wasn't joking. She was genuinely worried about Karen, not remembering a boxer with so much dedication as her.
"I thank you for your concern, Ruth. I know of the dangers in this sport, I could die in one of this matches, I know some have died in this sport." Karen was touched by Ruth's worry, which made a small smile to appear on Karen's face,.
"I know that you do, you take this seriously. I just don't want a good boxer retiring so quickly, or worse."
"Great, now let's get you rested for the next round, and for the other coming rounds." No one thought it was strange for Karen to be so calm, they believed she was confident because of how well it went in the last round. The truth was that she liked it too much, and she simply couldn't resist performing with such an amazing partner like Lea. Even after saying Ruth not to worry, Karen couldn't help her desire to go longer. Of course, she knew that all performances must come to an end.
"Before that happens, let's enjoy the dance a little bit longer, shall we?" Thought Karen. After that, both boxers were resting up and waiting for the announcer to order the seconds to leave the ring. It didn't take long and before the seconds left the ring, they gave some last minute advice.
"Remember, whatever it is you have planned, you have to use it and finish it in this round," said Alonso, who hoped that it was enough to end the match.
"Got it." Lea responded while putting her mouthpiece. Meanwhile, Karen was getting ready for the next round.
"Stay alert. They might come up with something new against you," said Ruth.
"Understood." Responded Karen and she was given her mouthpiece. Once the seconds were out, the referee stepped in and the bell ringed.
Both boxers came out of their corners and dashed to the center of the ring. They both met in the center, and just like the first round, they didn't throw a single punch. Lea started to watch Karen swaying side to side again. Instead of trying to stop it, Lea started to move to Karen's rhythm, which surprised everyone, especially Karen. They believed that Lea was trying to copy Karen's movements, but that was far from the truth. Karen attacked with a left hook to Lea's head when swaying to the right. Lea blocked the attack with the right arm while swaying at the same direction as Karen and tried to attack with a left uppercut to Karen's chin. Karen barely dodged by moving to the side while spinning. Then, she attacked with a right hook. Lea saw it in time and slid back, creating space to make the punch miss. Then, she slid forward with a right straight. Karen was still recovering her punch, so the only option to avoid the attack was by bending back. Lea tried to move in to catch Karen, but Karen was quick enough to recover and moved away from Lea. Karen wasn't expecting that and it showed on her face. For Karen, it was as if Lea was reading all of Karen's movements. Lea moved forward and threw a left jab, which Karen dodged by turning sideways and bending back. From that position, Karen attempted to attack with a right uppercut, but Lea was going to surprise Karen. To avoid the attack, Lea simply turned to the side and got out of the way of the punch. Lea was standing right next to the bent Karen, and from there, Lea attacked with a right downward punch. Karen quickly spun in her bent position, stood upright, and backed away from Lea. Not wanting to give Karen any opportunity to escape, Lea started to chase after Karen.
Back into the crowd, Lea's friends were starting to think that things were looking up. Lea seemed to be able to read and dodge Karen's attacks. They could also see that Karen seemed to be struggling more than before.
"Karen looks to be more distressed than before. Is Lea's new plan really getting to her?" asked Alinda.
"Maybe she's annoyed about Lea trying to copy her, I know I would be," said Salena, who found it a little funny.
"I don't think that would be the case, Karen looks too composed to let anger overrule her judgment. It's seems that Lea found a way to follow Karen's movements."
Back into the fight, Lea quickly reached Karen, who decided to stand her ground against Lea. Karen quickly started to sway again, and Lea did the same thing, but it didn't stop Karen. Karen started by moving to Lea's right, hoping to attack from the side. Lea moved to the same direction as Karen, but it didn't stop Karen from throwing a right hook. Lea had no problem in blocking it with the left arm and retaliated with a right uppercut, but Karen turned to the side, making the punch miss.
"What's going on? Is this her new plan? She's getting my rhythm, where did she learn this?" Thought Karen, who was starting to get worried, but continued to attack with a right straight to Lea's face. Lea dodged by moving in front of Karen, and tried to attack with a left hook to Karen's body. Karen avoided the punch by moving to Lea's right. From there, anyone who was paying close attention would notice that those two boxers looked as if they were dancing. Whether it was out of desperation or frustration, Karen started to become more aggressive than before. She threw lefts and rights, hooks and uppercuts, anything to cause damage, while Lea blocked and dodged any attack that came her way. Lea tried to attack, but just like her, Karen was still focused enough to dodge Lea's attacks. The only thing left to do was to tighten the guard and hope for Karen to get tired of attacking so much. However, Lea didn't know how long it was going to take until it was over, so she had to watch carefully and try to find a chance to turn the tables.
"Karen, stop attacking like a maniac and focus properly!" yelled Ruth, who was concerned that Karen would tire herself out and put herself in danger. The message was received and Karen stopped her attack. Lea took the opportunity to throw a left jab, which was barely avoided by moving to the side. Karen retaliated with a left punch to Lea's head, but Lea blocked with the right arm, and turned to look at Karen face to face. Again, Lea and Karen continued with their dance of flying fists.
A minute had passed and they were starting to get equal, especially Lea, since Karen seemed to be struggling more than usual. Lea had gotten used to the new rhythm that Karen was using, so she started to follow Karen more easily. A right straight came towards Lea's head, but Lea ducked the punch, and stood up with a left uppercut. Karen turned to the side and attacked with a right hook to Lea's head. Lea quickly blocked with the left shoulder and attacked with a right hook to Karen's head. Karen bent back and threw a right uppercut at Lea's chin. Lea turned to the side, stood beside Karen, and attacked with a downward right punch. Karen spun out of the way and stood back up. Then, Karen attacked with a right straight to Lea's head, but it was blocked with the shoulder. Lea turned towards Karen and started to attack with a right straight. Karen noticed the attack and was moving to Lea's left. Then, she noticed that it was a feint and looked right on time to see the left hook coming to her liver. Karen responded on time to block the attack with the right arm. After blocking the attack, Karen quickly moved away from Lea.
"A feint at a moment like that? I certainly didn't see it coming, nice played, Specter. Splendid, I must say," thought Karen, who could still feel the sting of the punch. Even if it wasn't a clean hit, it still hurt her. Lea knew that the punch wasn't clean, so she had to keep going.
The seconds on Karen's corner were in a near panic, since Lea was very close to landing a clean hit on Karen's body.
"My god! This job is getting very stressful for me, good thing that Karen was quick enough to dodge a punch like that. You better think of something quick, Specter, because it might have been your last chance against Karen," thought Ruth. On the other corner, Alonso felt frustrated.
"Dammit, we were so close to winning the match, if that punch would have landed cleanly, things would go to our favor," thought Alonso. With nothing else in mind that could help them out in that match, Alonso could only hope that some miracle happened
Lea moved forward and attempted to attack with a left hook to Karen's head, but Karen slid forward and blocked it with the right arm. The hook hit Karen's shoulder, sending Karen sliding away from Lea and attempted to recover from the previous attack. Lea rushed in and tried to end the match in that round. Karen wasn't going to allow that and slid forward. Lea attacked with a right straight, but Karen managed to dodge. Then, she moved to Lea's chest, and once she got there, she put her arms to her sides. In that position, it was going to be difficult for Lea to land a punch with enough force. Of course, she wasn't going to just stand there and do nothing. Lea tried to throw punches at Karen's body, but Karen blocked the punch with one of her arms. If that didn't work, Lea tried to get one of her arms inside to push Karen away, but it was blocked as well. The last thing that came to mind at that point was to move to the side, while Karen was pushing towards Lea. Lea moved and Karen lost her balance, which was a good opportunity to strike her with a left hook. Lea threw the hook at Karen's head, while Karen turned to look at Lea. The punch was too close to move sideways or spin, so she decided to bend back, but Lea was prepared for that. Knowing that Karen was going to bend back, Lea surprised Karen by stopping her hook and leaned forward with Karen. Karen tried to spin away from Lea, but a sting to Karen's side prevented Karen from doing that. The last thing Karen saw was a punch landing on her face, and sending her to the mat. The force of the punch sent the pin holding her hair away, letting golden hair go loose all around her head and covering her face. The referee stepped between them and ordered Lea to a neutral corner. Lea did as told and hoped that the punch ended the match, not knowing what else to do if Karen managed to get up. The referee checked Karen to see if she could get up, but notice that she was out cold and declared the match over.
The crowd cheered for both boxers. For showing such a spectacular fight, but not everyone was happy about the result. All the journalists were hoping to see Karen win against Lea, but since Karen lost, they had no business in there and decided to leave. Everyone left, except for one, who had an interest on Lea. Not because Lea won, but for another reason.
"It can't be her…could it?" Said the female Werebat, who was having a hard time believing it.
Werebats were half-human, half-bat inter-species people, who were believed to be monsters, or evil spirits that took the bodies of the death. Both males and females possessed bat ears, their arms were bat wings, they possessed a tail, and fangs. Thankfully, the fangs weren't long enough to stick out of the mouth, which would make them look terrifying. Like the Harpies, Werebats didn't weight too much, probably the same, which allowed them to fly. They had fur on the ears and from their thighs to where their knees begin. Due to a lack of arms and hands, except for thumbs on their wings, it could be said that their legs were their arms. Starting from the knee, it looked like a forearm and the feet looked like hands. Since they tended to grab things with their feet, they used 'gloves' to walk around and grab other surfaces. Religious groups hunted them because they looked terrifying to them. To escape from the religious groups, Werebats decided to live in caves and other places. The darkness was not much of a problem because they had the echolocation ability, using ultrasound that allowed them to see in the dark. In modern times, they were normal citizens, who mostly worked at night because many other inter-species people were unable to work in such condition. Of course, they worked in many different areas too.
Back in the ring, Alonso and Fergus got into the ring and started walking towards Lea. Once they reached Lea, Alonso said.
"That was an unexpected ending, even I believed that Karen could dodge the attack, but the blow that she blocked may have caused more damage than we thought."
"She's strong, even if her punches didn't have that much power, they still hurt," said Lea, who was still feeling the pain from Karen's punches.
"Really? She probably hit you in the temple. You should get it checked out just to be sure."
"All right." Lea looked at Karen, who was already been carried away from the ring.
"Well, let's go. We got to get ready for Hilda's title match, and you need to get some rest."
"Yeah." They all left the ring, with Lea shyly waving to the audience in response to their cheers. Lea entered the locker room, followed by Alonso and Fergus. Once Lea got inside, she went through the curtain to change back into her normal clothing. After that, she headed to the medical room, while Alonso and Fergus checked on Hilda. Lea got checked out, but the doctor suggested going to a hospital for a better examination. Lea thanked the doctor and left the room. While on her way, Lea didn't notice someone waiting for her inside another corridor.
"Good evening, Specter," said a female voice behind Lea, who turned around in surprise. Lea saw a female Werebat with medium brown armpit-length hair, gray eyes, and light brown skin color, the same color as the fur. Lea could see that the Werebat might be a little more mature than her. Lea guessed that the Werebat was 23 years at most. To make Lea even more nervous, the Werebat was quite beautiful.
"H-hello, um…" Responded Lea, who was without words.
"Zora, Zora Patterson." Zora introduced herself while walking up to Lea. Once she was in front of Lea, she took off a 'glove', and extended her right 'hand' to Lea. Zora was wearing a white shirt under a black coat, a black skirt, and for her feet, she was wearing black 'gloves'. Lea cleaned her hand on her t-shirt and shook the hand.
"Nice to meet you." Lea tried her best to look at Zora in the eye because she didn't want to look timid.
"The pleasure is all mine," said Zora with a professional air around her, and with a smile. After the greetings were over, Zora let go of Lea's hand, grabbed her purse with her clawed thumb, search inside, and pulled out a recorder. "If you could give me a moment of your time to answer some questions, I would be very grateful to you." Requested Zora as she started the device to record.
"I-I'm sorry, but I have to go," answered Lea as she started to slid away from Zora.
"How does it feel to return to the ring, Miss Anderson?" Zora's question caused Lea to stop.
"I think you have the wrong person." Lea started to sound serious, but a slight tremble could be heard.
"Oh, I certainly have the right person. You're Lea Anderson, the undefeated ex-MSWBA Middleweight Champion, who mysteriously disappeared over 2 years ago." Zora was confident of her suspicions.
"You have the wrong person." Lea responded as she started going on her way.
"It would be quite the coverage if I mention that said champion was alive and back on the ring. Probably, first page, even making it to the cover." Zora knew that Lea was hiding because she used a ring name instead of her real name. After hearing that, Lea stopped in her tracks and quickly turned towards Zora.
"Don't!" Suddenly said Lea, and Zora was surprised by such a response. Then, Lea continued with a humble voice. "Please…just don't, I'll answer." That kind of response made Zora regret her approach.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get you this upset. It's just…you're becoming well known, and I just wanted to get some coverage before anyone else."
"Oh…well…as long as you don't tell anyone about me."
"How about this? If you promise to let me do exclusive interviews in the future, I'll keep your identity a secret, deal?" After Lea heard that, her mood lifted.
"Great, I don't have to do this interview right now, and I'm sure you're tired from your previous match. Have a good evening." Zora started to leave.
"Uh…yeah…thanks." As Lea finished her sentence, Zora turned a corner and left. "I wonder if I can actually trust her. No point in thinking about that, I better go and see how Hilda is doing." Lea headed back to the locker room. Once she arrived to the room, she went in and saw Hilda warming up. Lea could feel that Hilda was ready for the match, ready to take the belt, and even ready to go down for it. Lea wasn't the only one in the room, Salena and Alinda were in there too. They all had a serious face, until they saw Lea go in.
"Hey, Lea, congratulation on your victory, it was a good match," said Salena, who tried to sound cheerful.
"It was quite a match, I don't remember seen an in-fight like that," said Alinda, who was amazed by such quick movements at a very close distance.
"Thanks." After Lea said that, the room went quiet.
"What's with the heavy air in here?" asked Hilda, who thought it was funny.
"…It's just…" Lea didn't have any words.
"I told you, didn't I? I'm going to be the national champion." After hearing that from Hilda, everyone one started to agree with her.
"Yeah, you're right. You did say that, I know you will become champion," said Lea.
"I never had any doubt," said Alinda, who looked like her sophisticated normal self.
"You're going to get the belt, and we'll be the next in line!" Said Salena with new energy. Everyone cheered after that, and the staff called for Hilda, letting her know that it was time for her title match.
"All right! Let's do this!" Said Hilda, who was as motivated as one could be. Everyone gave their best regards to Hilda, hitting her glove as if it was a high-five. After Hilda left to the arena with Alonso and Fergus, Lea and the rest went to their seats. While on the way, Lea met up with the person that she just defeated, Karen Carter, with her trainer, Ruth.
"We'll be in the arena," said Alinda, who believed that it would be proper to leave them alone. Both Salena and Alinda went to their seats, leaving Lea with Karen, knowing that it was going to be awkward if they stayed there.
"I'll see you outside," said Ruth to Karen, thinking it would be better if she leaved them alone as well.
"Why is it that I meet every single opponent that I defeat at moments like this?" Thought Lea. She didn't think badly of her opponents, but she didn't know what to say to them after the match.
"Hello, Specter." Greeted Karen in a polite manner.
"H-hello. Um…how…how are you feeling?" asked Lea.
"A little sore, and I almost got a broken nose, but nothing too alarming."
"Oh, I'm glad." That brought an elegant smile to Karen's face.
"You're a very kind person." That made Lea blush.
"I just…" That got a giggle out of Karen, who got closer to Lea, which made Lea nervous.
"That was a marvelous performance, one of the best ones, and I thank you for it." After Karen said that, she bowed, pulling up an imaginary skirt. Lea remembered the move and bowed to Karen. After that, Karen continued to slide away, but before going too far, she said one last thing to Lea.
"Let's have another dance the next time we meet." Lea turned towards Karen and saw her slid away.
Lea got to her seat, and she could see that Hilda's match started only a few seconds ago, so she hadn't missed much. Lea could see that the current champion was strong, an African American with dark hair, and visible muscles. The champion was fit enough to fight Hilda, and Lea knew that it would be a difficult match. Both boxers started slow, sliding cautiously to the middle of the ring. They both had a very orthodox boxing stance, keeping both arms up. Both boxers reached punching range, and no less than a second passed before a punch was thrown, which turned out to be a left jab from Hilda. The battle started fast, both boxers didn't give each other any time to think, they just kept attacking. The champion obviously had more technique than Hilda, but Hilda refused to let that stop her from getting the belt. After a minute into the fight, it would seem that the match was turning to the champion's favor. Suddenly, the champion knocked Hilda down with a left hook to Hilda's temple. The punch was strong, the damage looked serious, fans of the champion started to cheer, and Hilda's fans started to worry for Hilda. The ones who were hit the worst by the sight, were Hilda's close friends, especially since they were watching it live.
"H-Hilda," said Lea, who didn't know what to say. It was the first time she had seen Hilda down.
"It's hard to believe," said Alinda in shock.
"The champion…is strong," said Salena. All three of them were left speechless, but Lea didn't believe what she was seeing, she refused to do it. After all, she remembered Hilda making a promise. Suddenly, one side of the arena heard someone yelling.
"Hilda!" At first, Salena and Alinda were caught by surprise, but they soon realized that the one who was yelling, was the quietest person from their group, Lea. "Get up, Hilda! You promised! You promised that you would become champion!" Lea's words seemed to get Alinda and Salena to join up. It got a reaction from Hilda, who was sitting on her tail.
"Get up, Hilda!" Alinda joined in.
"Beat the crap out of her! You can do it!" Salena followed last. Every single fan of Hilda started to follow their example, cheering and asking Hilda to get up. By the ninth count, Hilda got up and she was ready to continue the fight, but she rose as a different Lamia. The air around her was different, her eyes were different, everything about her was different, and the champion knew that. Then again, considering that she knocked Hilda down, she might be too weak to do anything, so the champion decided to charge towards Hilda. That was a mistake because Hilda was focusing beyond her normal limits. The champion's attacks didn't hit Hilda, and Hilda started to counter attack. Hilda landed a punch on the champion's body that made the champion bend forward. The champion recovered and started to defend herself from the assault. Hilda's attack was relentless, pushing the champion around like a sandbag. The champion tried to fight back, but a punch to the side of her head stopped her, followed by a punch to her chin, and another to her temple. Hilda was gaining the upper hand, and eventually, sent the champion to the mat. The referee got between them and sent Hilda to a neutral corner. Then, he went to check on the champion, who wasn't moving. Knowing that she was unable to continue, he declared the match over and a new champion was born.
After giving the championship belt to Hilda, Hilda's group left the building and went to celebrate Hilda's victory. They didn't necessarily drink alcohol, at least not that much. Lea definitely refused to drink any type of alcohol, choosing to drink soda instead. Lea didn't want to go back to the way she used to be, and to do that, she wouldn't drink any alcohol. She wouldn't go back just by drinking alcohol, but she preferred to be on the safe side. After celebrating, everyone went to their own homes to rest for the night, but before that, they made sure that Hilda arrived to her apartment just fine. Lea, Alinda, and Salena volunteered to escort Hilda to her home. Once they arrived to Hilda's home, Lea, Alinda, and Salena said their goodbyes and started to slid away, but they were stopped.
"Hold it." Hilda quickly gave the order, and before Lea's group turned around, Hilda grabbed them in a group hug. "Thanks for the help." That got a smile from everyone.
"You should thank Lea. She's the one who started yelling like a maniac," said Salena with a playful tone.
"She's right, if it wasn't for her, we would still be in shock by the sight of you going down," said Alinda.
"True, but you all cheered for me, so thank you too." After Hilda said that with a smile, she let go and headed to her door. Before going in, she said a few last things. "Don't stay up for too long."
"Okay." Responded Lea's group.
"All right, good night." With that, Hilda went into her apartment. After that, Lea's group started to head to their homes. Before going to sleep, Lea felt that it was a good day, a very good day for everyone.