Chridela Otero Diaries Pt. 2


* Chridela Otero Diaries Pt. 2
{np} Chridela Otero followed a man down a dark corridor.
He walked one step ahead of her, his back turned to Chridela. The man's name was Frium.
She had never been fond of him, so she did not try to start a conversation. It was Frium who broke their silence.
{np} [Honestly, I've always admired you. I mean, out of the 29 boys and girls he sponsored, look at how many actually got to the level he expected. Almost none! But you... You exceeded all expectations.
{np} At your age, the only person who can compare to you in combat is probably the Fencer Master, that Sorsha girl. And she's a Hutton; she was practically born with a sword in her hands. Considering how much you achieved in only five years, I'd say you're pretty remarkable.]
{np} Chridela couldn't stand being quiet any longer.
[Even the least talented of us was still above average. It was you who set the standards too high, for no good reason.]
{np} [You think so? Our high standards weren't there to measure your achievements, you know. Dedication, loyalty... that's what we were looking for. Or at least a level of talent that could make up for the lack of those things.
{np} To be honest, I don't really trust you. But I don't think you're a dishonest person, either. What I do know for sure is that you are a very talented woman. Frighteningly so.]
{np} [Well, you're something special yourself. For someone who can't defend himself, you're pretty brave around people who don't exactly fancy you.]
{np} [Eh, when you're running a battle arena you get used to being around fighters, murderers, all sorts of scary people. I'm just doing my job. You can't let something as irrational as fear get in the way of your dreams.]
{np} [Oh, I know. In fact, I learned that from you, Frium. You certainly don't let anything as irrational as morals or basic humanity get in your way.]
{np} [That's what I mean, you need to grow some claws. The sharper they get, the sooner you can get rid of us. Not that I expect much of you if you do.]
{np} Frium's steps came to a halt as they reached a closed door.
He knocked a couple of times and, promptly, the door opened to reveal a simple room containing nothing but a crude table and a few stools, with the Monk Master sitting on one of them.
{np} Frium waited for Chridela to enter the room and bow to the Master before silently closing the door and leaving.
Chridela merely glanced at a stool, hesitating on the Monk Master's order.
{np} Olfas Grimm smiled wryly.
[How are you ever going to kill me with all that indecision? If you're sure about it, then take action. It's not like you're lacking in talent...]
{np} Chridela took out a stool and sat down without responding.
[Are you not sure if you can kill me? Or are you still trying to hold on to your pride as an old member of the noble class? Hey?]
{np} [Enough. Why did you call me here?]
[Right. Well, I was looking everywhere for a nice spot for you, but the opportunity was never there. Class Master vacancies aren't exactly easy to come by, as you know.
{np} At the same time, I couldn't just put you into some cleric order or have you learn magic, could I? But now, now I think you might have a real chance at something.]
For the first time, Chridela Otero seemed interested in the Master's words.
{np} [Is there a Class Master retiring?]
[It's the Matador Master.]
Chridela was confused.
[But I was never trained in Matador combat. And to be honest, I have no interest in Masters connected to the arena.]
{np} [Sure, if you're lucky there could be another empty spot, but if you let it go this could be the last vacancy you'll see in your life. You need to take the chance. Besides, someone of your caliber can learn the Matador style in no time; training won't be a problem.
{np} Even judging by your combat skills alone, you're well within the level accepted for Masters of this field. I know you're interested in the position of Fencer Master, but Sorsha Hutton is still young, and very strong. Heck, not even a scandal could bring her down... That's why you need to take this chance.]
{np} [What about the students of the current Matador Master? You don't expect them to just accept someone out of nowhere taking their place, do you?]
[Frium and I took care of that. Also, you may not know this, but people close to the Matador Master are actually fond of you. It helps that you're a good-looking woman.
{np} As long as you show them that you're good and that you're familiar enough with the Matador techniques, that shouldn't be a problem. Come next year you'll probably be better than all of them, anyway.]
Chridela didn't reply, still pondering on her decision.{np} The Monk Master took one look at her and asked,
[Something else on your mind? It's about me, isn't it?]
[I was just thinking about the law that forbids Class Masters from carrying out personal disputes through violence.]
{np} Grimm let out a short chuckle.
[Hah. I know what you're thinking. But the Matador Master is a Master of the arena. The same arena I so often visit as the combat enthusiast that I am. You'll have plenty of opportunities, kid.
{np} But if you really want to kill me, don't you need to pay me back first? I'm pretty sure you can't do anything to me until your debt is repaid. If I remember correctly, it was that strong determination of yours that made me keep you all this time.]
{np} [Five years!]
[Five years. You adopted me for five years, so that is how much I owe you. After that, you will have no right to demand anything from me.]
{np} [I beg to differ. Aren't you forgetting something? We didn't just support you with food and shelter. We trained you in the finest martial arts and made you into a capable fighter. We settled not only your personal debt, but your family's as well. Not to mention...]
{np} [Five years and three favors. That's as much as I'm willing to offer.]
Chridela had raised her voice over the Monk Master's and was now looking directly at him.
{np} Olfas Grimm was taken aback by her stare, but he quickly shrugged it off with a cackle.
[Hahah. Alright. You work for us for five years. And you need to complete three missions for me. That's it, after that you're a free woman. I know you're a proud descendant of a noble family, so I trust you to keep your promise.]
{np}[I will, but that doesn't mean I don't have my limits. For one, you can't force me to protect your life as my last mission.]
[I'm not a fool. I'm only going to demand favors which I know you won't or can't refuse. Be it in the five years that you serve us, or in the three missions you agreed to complete.
{np} Besides, I may avoid fighting strong people like you, but I'm no weakling myself. Do I look like a man who's afraid of death? The only reason I haven't died yet is because I have things to do. It's not because I want to live.]
{np} [You know what they say about hopeless dreams...]
[You can make fun of me all you want. But the fact is that you still need to prepare for the position of Matador Master. You can start by reading these.]
{np} Grimm picked up a pile of books from behind him and dropped them on the table before leaving in silence. Chridela watched him for a moment, but soon turned her attention to the heap of books. She picked one up and turned on a reading lamp.
"The first combat arenas and gladiators date back to around 900 years ago, to the reign of King Melkhiel.
In time, the arenas began to develop, with more and more specialized varieties of gladiator differentiating themselves from their peers."
{np} "Then, around 300 ago during the reign of King Frienal, as the Kingdom opened itself up to the exterior, foreign customs and traditions began to permeate the arenas. This lead to the creation of even more new specializations, like the Matadors."
{np} "Although battles with animals and demons were already common in arenas around the Kingdom, the Matadors introduced a new style of combat which infused elements of pure spectacle into fierce confrontations with evil beasts."
{np} "Evil beasts can be distinguished from demons by their lack of intelligence. While both originate from a demonic realm, evil beasts are equivalent to the animals that exist in our world.
Facing these beasts, especially within the arena, required specialized knowledge and experience in combat techniques that were largely unknown prior to the emergence of the Matadors."
{np} "Knowledge of evil beasts first arrived in the Kingdom through an arena manager who collected information from foreign tribal societies. The manager adapted their skills and know-how to his own expertise to design a new style of combat."
{np} "His research and practices eventually gave origin to an entirely new profession in the arena. Throughout his life, he continued to polish and add new elements to the technique, until he acquired the official position of Master of the Matador class."
{np} "The methods developed by the first Matador were considered highly innovative at the time, due to how they incorporated artistic notions in a style of combat tailored specifically to arena battles performed in front of an audience."
{np} "The first big change in the Matador tradition is often pointed out as the time when the original techniques used against evil beasts were expanded and adjusted to include one-on-one confrontations."
{np} "Although Matadors were often assisted by other fighters in combat, the need to face demonic beasts solo made it so that, over the course of three centuries, the profession of Matador became more and more specialized in this kind of conflict."
{np} "Thus, unlike their predecessors who mastered the art of performing with evil beasts, the Matadors of today are largely recognized by their outstanding command of one-on-one combat."
{np} Chridela put down the book and picked up another one. She slowly browsed through the books in the pile one by one before concluding,
[Does he expect me to learn everything by theory? I think I should at least watch some Matador matches tomorrow...]
{np} With that, she placed the books in a bag, turned off the light and left.
If she was going to read all night, she may as well do it in the comfort of her own room, Chridela thought.


Story of Matador Master Chridela Otero. Right-click to read.


Weight: 1
Silver: 1