I’ll be brutally honest right now. I’ve killed many people in my short life. Before you judge just yet, allow me to explain. I am a fight champion, that is, someone in a fight club – mine happens to be the number one club here – who has won many times or is on a streak. It’s the only life I know, and the only one I have known. My whole sixteen years have been spent here, living and eating after hours and fighting during hours. It feels natural, especially after the government fell to…
But I shouldn’t talk about that. In fact, forget that. So, why do I fight? Well, this place is my home, though maybe not much of a nice one, and if I don’t meet the standards, I’ll be the one killed. That’s the catch to all of this. Who do I fight? Mainly criminals, or the occasional challenger. These fights, bear in mind, are not usually to the death except in extreme criminal cases. That being said, sometimes a kill is necessary. Those are the only times I do more than injure, otherwise I won’t be able to regret anything. I only have an allowance of three losses for every two months, so I have to keep up my wins.
Myself? I’m not very interesting, but here goes. I am 1.7 meters tall, 62 kilograms. My eyes are dark blue, my hair is dark and spiky. Not too spiky. I’m intelligent, so they say, and I’m a quiet person by nature. Years of fighting have made me strong, perceptive, and difficult to injure badly. The way I fight isn’t anything too special either. I specialize in short blades, giving me the nickname Rose Blade. I have no idea why roses, so don’t ask me. I usually have one knife in each hand, one in the outer cuff of each boot, two tucked against each hip in my belt, and one in each sleeve. Just to keep track of them, I labeled them on their handles, carving each label in.
Oddly enough, it would seem that each of my blades has almost a personality, if you will. Ichi is sturdy, but shy. Shorter but solid blade. Nii is very jumpy. Blunt and thin blade. Nii doesn’t do very well with stabbing people. San is also very sturdy, but San is extremely sarcastic. Sliding blade. Shi is very mellow, and stable. Medium and hard blade. Go is very observant and advantageous. Sharpest blade. Roku is possibly the most narcissistic. Fairly blunt but very shiny blade. Nana is my favorite, Yami coming in close second. Both of them are very nearly perfect in every way a knife is supposed to be, and are almost identical, being a set of twins. Gin and Kuro are the same way.
All of my knives are handmade with ivory handles and leather sheaths. Each sheath is imprinted with my artist’s signature to prevent thievery. See, I’m not completely inhumane. I’m an artist. I spend most of my free time on either sketching or target practice. Both relieve my stress, albeit in very different ways. Sometimes, on good days, all of the champions gather in the main hall to socialize. The only three active champions are Lilith, Phineas and me. All of the others are retired, but living in the club still. They’d often ask me what new sketch I’m showing off at the moment, and I would bring it out. Most of them appreciated it as a common interest.
Considering that fact, I felt nothing but utter contempt for the man standing in front of me on the dusty arena floor. He was a brilliant criminal, so I had been told, accused of art thievery and forgery, among other things. Nana and Yami were each tucked into a sleeve, off for the day. Instead, I had Gin and Kuro balanced in my hands, the rest of my knives in their various sheaths around my body. I narrowed my eyes at the man, anger boiling just under the surface.
The beefy art thief shifted his weight, nervous or uncomfortable. Or itching to fight. Bothe worked in my favor. The bell rang, signaling the start of the fight, and my opponent charged at me immediately. Stupid move and even the audience knew it. He’d have to do more than throw his weight at me and hope for the best. I easily sidestepped and dragged Kuro across his right thigh. A thin spurt of blood sprayed the arena wall behind me, and I turned to face him once more. After the first charge, I could see he’d already realized his mistake, so he was trying a different approach. Smart, but not smart enough. I could read his every movement in his body language. Experience in the ring does that.
This time, I sprang on offensive first. I leapt forward, seeming to imitate his lunge. He crouched, and I jumped instead, leaping for his face. Unfortunately, I had misjudged the speed at which my opponent could move; he caught me midair and threw me to one side. My back slammed the wall, making my breath disappear from my lungs. Even as I was recovering, I was acting. I switched Kuro for Shi while I rolled out of the way of the thief’s attack. The audience began shouting at me to finish him already, and I grimaced. Tough crowd to please. When my vision returned, I began dodging to give myself and opportunity to prepare to throw Shi.
Of course, I wasn’t just brainlessly avoiding him. I let the man hit me a few times just to give him a sense of victory. People tend to relax when they think they have the lead. At the same time, I snuck in a few slashes in places that would drain his energy. Through this whole time, I tried to find an opening to throw Shi. Since the audience was beginning to get restless, I stopped messing around and got right to business. The rest of it was mostly a blur, but I remember whipping Shi, slicing the art thief’s Achilles tendon, and watching him fall to the arena floor. Next thing I remember, I was on my own spin to the floor, my left calf burning.
“What just happened?”
“The criminal poisoned him!”
“Get him to the infirmary, quickly!”
Right after someone picked me up, there was such a commotion that my head began swimming, and I lay there, gritting my teeth. The person carrying me quickened her pace, jostling me slightly, but at that point I had no cares except that they let me slip into unconsciousness. She ducked through a doorway, setting me down on a couch, thankfully.
“Lilith, what happened here?” I whispered.
“You’ll be okay, I promise. Just sleep. It’ll all be okay.”
She was nearly crying, or maybe that was my own imagination, but suddenly her suggestion sounded marvelous. I closed my eyes, feeling very tired, and lost all consciousness in minutes.