This is the second chapter in the History of Artakha, the first chapter having a link here, and the prologue having a link here. So, without further ado, here’s “The Overseer”. If you see any tiepoas, let me know. Please comment!
Chapter 2: The Overseer
The warrior took three deep breaths. He placed his helmet loosely on. He tightened the strap, and picked his sword from the rack of rusty weapons. He slipped his shield onto his wrist.
The shield was red and had the warrior’s emblem on it, a golden octopus carrying a spear in each hand. He took three more breaths. He was a showman, about to put on a show. The crowd had a twisted vision of a show.
Vultraz was a skilled warrior. He always had been. Which is why when he entered the arena, the crowds of red Ta-Matoran cheered his name. His helmet felt loose. Vultraz was not nervous. He was never nervous. He was too good to be nervous.
Up in the crowd was a shelf of marble. On the shelf was a throne, with faded red curtains draped over it, creating a canopy. On the throne sat a Matoran king wearing the Kanohi Kirii. The king sat on the throne, slouching. On his left was a young Le-Matoran girl in another chair, while on his right was Ta-Matoran servant. The servant wore a mask of voice projection. He took a breath before shouting. “Mangai! Welcome! I say welcome to the Arena of Dume, and King Dume’s Tournament of Glatorian! And now, you’re finest warrior Mangai has to offer, Vultraz the Unbeatable!”
The crowds roared with such noise that King Dume himself had to stand up to calm the crowd with a powerful wave of his hand. Vultraz stood proud. He was a very proud Matoran.
Vultraz stood as large brass doors on the opposite side of the room roared open. Two large crimson eyes glowed at him, with beast-like snarls accompanying them. Vultraz tightened his grasp on his weapons. Just another day of work. Vultraz had never gotten this far into the championship, however. Not very many ever had. With a quick movement, the beast charged out into the light, roaring with awesome power. It was a Muaka, a great yellow and black creature of massive size. But it was no ordinary Muaka, as through facing a competitor with incredible strength, it had lost the entire back half of its body, which was replaced by crudely built treads to keep speed.
The Muaka was so heard of in tales and in stories as Makuta’s most dangerous Rahi ever, the Matoran made a word, meaning “Fear”, after its name, Legavus. Legavus swung its back portion around as it strolled around Vultraz. The most anyone could ever train it to do was attack when the arena horn blew. Vultraz stared it down. He was too good for this. He had come here to fight a beast, and today, he would be the one to kill it. He swung his sword in a circle and crouched into a defensive pose. The horn blew.
King Dume watched from above. His wife sat on his left. “Who are you betting on, my Lord?” she questioned the king. The King was too absorbed in the match to answer. Vultraz leaped to amazing heights, propelling himself off the beast. He was unable to be hit by the swiping Muaka.
“Like a cat playing with a toy held just out of reach,” Dume muttered to himself, amused.
“Such a poet, my Lord,” the Queen remarked. The King seemed to blush under his mask.
Vultraz was unstoppable. He would not get hit, unless it would excite the crowd. First, he would wear the beast down. Get it mad. Then he would make a single strike that would kill the beast quickly. So he kept launching himself into the air, courtesy his secret armor made from a melted Kanohi Miru, the mask of levitation. Whatever pleased the crowd. The Muaka started rolling around the arena floor. It was becoming mad.
“Come at me, Boggarak-Breath,” Vultraz insulted. The beast raised its head. That meant it was going to pounce straight at the Matoran warrior. Vultraz ducked into another defensive position. As it charged, he would be ready to stab his blade into the robotic pile of scrap. He readied his sword.
But something unexpected happened instead. Instead of leaping into a pounce, it lunged. Prepared for an airborne attack, Vultraz had to ■■■■■ into a land attack defense. Unable to be steady by the attack, Vultraz was thrust into the air by the crushing jaws of the beast. His sword and shield lifted out of his hands as he plummeted back to the ground. He landed on his back in the dirt, with a noise that made the entire stadium wince.
Dume stood up from his seat. He clutched his scepter, biting his lip from beneath his Kirii. The warrior was grounded, not making a move. The Muaka circled him, making sure it’s prey was dead before it ate him. Alive food squirms too much. The warrior stirred, arousing the crowd, but it only made the beast pounce. The warrior leaped, and slammed his fist into Legavus’ muzzle. The beast’s head flew back, and it took a moment to recover. Vultraz surveyed the surrounding area. His armor laid around the field, his helmet sitting across the arena. It did not matter. Vultraz wouldn’t need that.
The King watched eagerly as the warrior fended off the beast. Vultraz anticipated every move, predicted each attack down to a nose twitch. Legavus grew weary quickly. The beast rolled back to the edge of the field, a sign that normally meant it was giving up. But it instead rolled the treads, as if it was revving the engine of a Thornratus, Dume’s favorite vehicle to watch in combat. The beast snarled. Vultraz picked up his sword.
“Now this is a Glatorian battle,” Dume commented. He sat at the edge of his seat, bouncing his knee. He was a short Matoran, but not a weak one.
“As if you’ve never seen one before,” his wife replied, suddenly uninterested. She always enjoyed it more when a Matoran would lose their life.
Vultraz readied himself. If he was to do what he planned to do, he would need expert timing, reaction, and strength. He started strolling towards Legavus. He slowly accelerated to a charge, and the beast launched itself forward. “You mean nothing,” Vultraz whispered to the creature. As he charged, he slipped on the dust, much to the surprise to the crowd. The Glatorian slid underneath the beast, and lifted his sword into its chest.
Legavus roared the mightiest roar of its career, but it was a roar of pain. Dume did not even consider the possibility that the Muaka felt pain. Vultraz emerged from under the beast, and held up his blade. The crowd roared even louder than Legavus, who was whimpering in the corner. Dume stood, ready to end the match, when he noticed the beast prepared a stealth strike.
“Look out!” a Matoran in the crowd cried when the Muaka lifted its front paw to swipe down upon the Glatorian. Vultraz turned around, seeing the beast just in time. He leaped without any lift above the Muaka, above Dume, above the entire arena. He readied his sword, and dove down at the beast.
“Show’s over, Mahi Manure!” Vultraz screamed as he plummeted through the back of the beast. He would have smashed through the head, but he was afraid of being swallowed whole. He looked up above him. The ugly creature was still. The crowd was silent. The beast gave a groan before falling onto its side, revealing the warrior underneath. The crowd cheered with amazment. Vultraz looked to the King’s throne. Dume looked pleased, clapping and nodding his head up and down. His wife next to him propped her head up by her hand. Vultraz guessed she had been wanting Legavus to win.
Arena employees swept the field clean. Armor, weapons, and tread parts were kept to the sides. Legavus’ body was dragged back into the gate. Vultraz was sure he had killed the beast. He was too good for it not to be dead. A scream emerged from the already screaming crowd. Vultraz turned around. Did Legavus stir? No, the Muaka was still. The crowd was filled with shocked gasps and cries. Fingers pointed to the Glatorian. Vultraz looked at himself. His armor shone a Kanohi silver, the red paint scraped off. It glowed from recent use. Guards came and grabbed the Matoran’s arms. Dume, who had come down into the arena field, inspected the warrior.
“I am familiar with all masks and mask powers. I can feel the abilities, I can tell what you have used as armor. Melted Miru,” Dume concluded. The crowd screamed in shock again. Dume was outraged. “You first try to kill my favorite pet-”
“I did kill the rotten wretch,” Vultraz corrected the King."
“You are not as smart as you think. Legavus is very much alive, just wounded. Next time study the traits of a Muaka, rather than the attack strategies, and you will know the toughness of the beast. But, there will be no next time. You have cheated. Mask powers are not to be used, whether they are shaped like masks or not,” Dume barked.
“Oh, I was provided a spectacle. I hid it really well, the crowd thought I used the Muaka’s strength against it. I really did not use it to win, exactly,” Vultraz told the King.
“You used it to hurt my precious LEGAVUS!” Dume yelled, slapping the mask off of the younger Matoran. “You are not fit to be a Glatorian! You are disqualified!”
“No, please! I’ll fight the creature again! No armor! No sword! Not even a shield! Just let me stay!” Vultraz pleaded. Dume turned and began walking away. “Fine! This tournament is nothing without me! The crowd loves me! I am the best! You will soon be begging me to come back, Dume! Mangai will hate you! More than it already does!”
Dume turned around with speed quicker than the Muaka Vultraz had just fought. “You dare! Guards, take him to dine with the beast! He’ll be treated as a guest!” The two Ta-Matoran guards dragged him to the gate. There, the Queen waited, with a smirk visible behind her mask. Her’s didn’t cover her mouth like the Kirii did. The guards let him go as the gate opened just enough for the Glatorian to be let inside.
“Pride before the fall, Ex-Glatorian,” she sung. She pushed him into the swallowing darkness. The last thing Vultraz saw of the outside was her face laughing at him. The last thing Vultraz saw at all was the yellow glow of eyes before Legavus, the beast of fear, lunged at the Matoran. The crowd then went home.
Yup, that got gruesome. I’ve finished Chapter 3! Read it here!