Chapter 119 - Contention
Bord is intensely happy. Truly happy indeed. Sitting on his mighty throne, he muses on the long and winding trail that got him where he is today. From his childhood as the son of a poor family to being chosen by a mighty noble. Then, the several years of being pampered by said mighty noble were pretty good. The only downside of that time of his life was the fact that he was being fattened like a pig for slaughter.
Bord does not like thinking about that, so he doesn’t. His reflective mood vanishes like smoke in the wind as his wonderful subordinates bring him new food.
“Puwt it down dere...” Waving his fat sausage fingers to the side, Bord keeps shoving food in his mouth. Scratching his fourth chin, he rolls himself around on his throne so he can look at the newest pile of offerings. The excellent new students that decided to give him food after he beat them up a bit brought more fruit. And some vegetables.
The few times they attempted to hunt the few birds in this place, well, they got their asses handed to them. One even attempted to hunt Teach’s stupid rabbit. That went well. Bord’s large stomach ripples as he chuckles to himself while glancing at the guy. The man with fluffy lion ears still has a rabbit foot imprinted on his forehead.
“Hows de dagon faksion?”
“The dragon slaves have taken over the spinward moonrise side of the plateau, the cold beaches at Frost Mountain, oh lord. Their town is growing.”
Bord nods in satisfaction. His troupe holds the centre, the rabbit lovers are near the volcano and the new dragon factions are somewhere near the cold mountain. All of Angeta’s old worshippers have now defected to either his or Lola’s faction. And then there are the braincores. Bord shivers and decides not to think about the braincores. Instead, he motions for his servants to bring him more food.
“Enough! He grows fat and weak. It is time for the era of me, Glorious Arnoldson Alan!”
Bord looks at the upstart through fat eyelids. The man looks to be a heartcore, so he should be able to take a beating. Bord knows that he now should take measure of the fellow. Then he should calculate the amount of force needed to subdue the muscular blue tinted human without doing any lethal damage.
But Bord does not do any of this. Instead, he waves his hand at random. Triangular qi constructs flicker around his moving limb for a split second. The shockwave caused by the gesture is channelled into a single direction, straight into the loud guy’s face.
The sound that follows is a combination of a slap and a crunch. Glorious Arnoldson Alan careens backwards, his face obviously dented. The focused wind blast makes him do one and a half backflip and half a corkscrew. This allows him to smash face first into a tree. Drooling and bleeding from his broken face, Glorious Arnoldson Alan faints face first into the dirt.
“Go tawke care oh him...” The words are barely audible as they are squeezed through throat and cheeks that grow ever fatter. The surrounding people are used to his modus of speech by now and understand his orders.
Bord’s sensitive ears hear rustling in the bushes, and he manages to catch a glimpse of someone sneaking away. Damn brain cores, Bord is getting tired of their constant stalking.
Instead of feeding the growing feeling of irritation, Bord continues eating. Ever since Teach taught him how to digest food with qi, he realised he found his calling. The fighting technique he received what feels like so long ago is based on spinning and momentum. The second technique he decided to learn was the one Selis learned first, based on heavy, brute and dumb movements. This was when he realised that he could control his weight.
More mass means more weight.
So Bord decided to become the world's strongest heartcore cultivator through sheer size. Bord thinks he is well underway in the completion of this goal. He scratches his fifth chin for a bit.
Becoming stronger than Teach in this lifetime is very unlikely, this managed to get through even Bord’s thick skull. But Lola, the strongest heartcore cultivator so far, only got a little head start on him. A devious glint flashes through the fatty’s eyes as he accesses Database. The green gem hidden in his hairline flashes unseen as he asks Database’s weird flat voice a few mental questions.
‘Can I beat Lola yet?’
‘Points deducted. Measured qi levels are equal.’
That’s the best news Bord has heard all day. Finally, his levels of qi are the same as that annoying rabbit. A normal rabbit should be covered in scales or chitin, not fur. Shivering at the thought of that freaky combination, Bord rolls from his throne.
The ground shakes as ripples undulate across his girth, his impact with the floor whipping up a minor dust cloud. The surrounding people freak out and start fussing over him. Bord rolls to his feet and stands. Holding up his gut, he starts waddling towards the volcano towering over the trees.
“Listen here, Angeta. I'm very grateful for the rescue. Protecting me during our escape is also something I really appreciate. I would like some explanation though, what the fur is going on?”
“Listen here, Ragni...” Angeta’s voice is a mocking caricature of Ragni’s sensual but slightly panicked voice. “You better be grateful for the rescue. You would have been auctioned once the hall repairs finished. You know full well where slaves with your assets go.” Casting a glance at her old rival’s chest, Angeta puts down the bundle she is carrying.
The two beastkin are standing on a slightly rounded white surface. The portal they came through is no longer a white line standing in the middle of nowhere. An ornamental arch made from stone houses the spatial rift. The other end is still in Ket’s old shack, so Ragni was quite flabbergasted once she was led through.
“Help me, you lazy cow.”
Ragni keeps staring at the spectacle around her for a moment longer. The golden tree, the small suns, the endless void, it’s quite a bit to take in. Turning, she sees Angeta pull another vine wrapped bundle through the white portal.
“What are those?”
“Ah, you know. The usual people Teach would kidnap. Slaves, political prisoners, unwilling participants in arranged child marriages. All good people though, I left the backstabbing bitches to rot in the bed they made.”
Ragni feels a sudden urge to run away. Ignoring that gut feeling, she walks back through the white line, amazed at the way it opens around her. Amazed at the fact that now she is standing in Tower City again as if the floating mountainous tree island was but a dream. She shakes herself free from the daze and looks at the bundles stacked high inside the little hut.
“Those are people?” Ragni grabs one from the top of the stack and tosses it through the white opening.
“Hmm, yeah. Put this on your forehead once back on the moon.”
Grabbing the green stone handed to her, she stuffs it in the folds of the dirty rags she is wearing and continues hauling bodies.
“Why? Why by all the tails do you want me to do this? I appreciate that you freed me and introduced this entire qi and cultivation thing to me, don't get me wrong. It nearly makes up for the years of making my life miserable, but why?”
“You know how we work. Beating up a guy is the least effective way to get rid of them. Getting beaten by a guy is also not effective, that just means they conquered you and will also never leave you alone. The only way to get rid of these pervs is to distract them. Who better to take this mighty burden off my shoulders than a cow like you?”
Ragni’s tail starts bristling. “Is that why you took the clothes Database offered me?”
“What clothes? Database, did Ragni pass the test?”
A flat, synthetic voice can be heard. “Minimum base knowledge test completed. Access to Tree granted.”
“Great, off you go!” Angeta smiles widely and approaches. Ragni’s tail puffs up further in some sort of danger sensing response.
“Angy, what are you doing? Stay awaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaayyy-”
“LOLAAAAH!! IMMA GOWNA BEET YA.” Bord’s blubbering voice thunders across the hot foothills of the volcano. A large group of beastkin and humans wearing white fluffy clothes look at him.
“Nah-uh. Downt cawe wha Teetch sayd. Fite me!”
Lola’s ears poke up from behind a rock up the slope. Bord starts walking towards them.
“Come here, fite meee!”
Lola lets out an irritated snorting sound and hops on top of the rock. Looking down on the fat boy imperiously, she wiggles her nose at him. The spectators, both of Lola’s and Bord’s faction, all clear the area. Lola stamps her foot once but lowers her posture as Bord keeps approaching her. Now huffing and puffing slightly, Bord keeps his vision trained on the small rabbit.
“FIITE MEE YOU STUUPID RABBI-”
His shrill voice is cut off as furry paws slam into his chest. The thick blubber undulates and bounces around as Bord backflips. Landing in a wobbly version of the superhero pose, Bord swipes at Lola. The rabbit dodges the blast of air with ease, turning into a white streak aimed for his midsection. Bord manages to dodge the incoming headbutt by falling to the ground faster than physically possible. Lola avoids the punch thrown by the grounded Bord in return.
Long story short, tales of the mighty match between Lord Bord and the Lady Lola were talked about in two versions. One tale tells of the might of the small rabbit, able to land hit after hit, wearing the evil giant down over time. The other tale is of the heroic hero, taking hit after hit without fail, but unable to beat his slippery and treacherous adversary. In the end, though, neither party did much damage.
None of Lola’s kick managed to penetrate the fluid armour surrounding Bord. None of Bord's powerful attacks was fast enough to hit the nimble rabbit.
So half an hour later, the rocks around them are ground to sand and the few plants obliterated, both combatants stare at each other as they catch their breath. Lola’s previously pristine fur is now matted with dust and dirt, Bord’s previously tight clothes now hanging slack across his diminished frame.
Bord’s fists start to pulse with a mystical energy, each new flare of power causing his feet to sink further into the soil and rock. Lola’s forehead sparkles as a horn of pure white starts to form.
“BRING IT YOU FWUCKING RABBIT!”
The two cultivators kick the ground with enough force to splinter more rock into dust as they propel themselves at the other party.
Only to be smashed into the ground by a flailing beastkin goddess in skimpy rags.
All the male observers swallow at the sight. Even the females shift about restlessly as they observe the voluptuous female rub her butt.
“Stupid Angeta, that hurt. Ah, she told me to grab the rabbit here and the fatty here. Done. Now what?” Standing up, the few scraps of dirty fabric stretch taut around her assets. She holds the still dazed Lola in one hand, her fingers pinching the little critters neck. Bord’s neck is pinched tightly with her other hand, his form also barely conscious. Ragni looks at the scenery surrounding her. Her tail once again doubles in size the moment she sees rivulets of lava dripping from the massive mountain behind her. Her tail reduces in size as she notices that she is the centre of attention of a few hundred people.
“Uuhm, hello? I’m new here, my name is Ragni, Angeta saved me and now here I am, I guess? What should I do with these two?” She pumps the bit of qi she has access to through her arm and legs as she hauls Bord upwards. Absolute silence greets her as she looks at the dumbfounded faces surrounding her.
Ragni shrugs her shoulders, throws both boy and rabbit to the side and strides towards the massive Tree towering over the forest. Moments later, she is walking through the forest while inspecting her own core space. Suddenly, a massive thundering of voices and footsteps comes from behind her.
“ALL HAIL RAGNI.”
“SHE DEFEATED BORD AND LOLA."
”PRAISE THE GODDESS RAGNIIIII!”
“NOOO, SHE BEAT THE FLUFFY ONE.”
“BRING MORE FOOD FOR LORD BORD.”
“Angeta, I will get my revenge!” Shaking her fist at the moon, glowing white overhead, she starts running as the jungle behind her gets trampled by many feet.
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