At the same time, somewhere in the Central Region.
"Who does Boss think will win today? I heard that this will be this youngster's first fight since he arrived in the Central Region. He didn't want to fight at all but his one-month safe period is over today and he got challenged already." A skinny guy with a face that almost looked like that of a dog, having a broad and big nose asked his boss who was sitting gracefully on his leather chair.
The boss was looking out through the window of their cabin with his hand on his chin, deep in thoughts. He was watching a young man with a Black mask that covered half of his head who was entering the stage in the arena. Noticing the star-shaped mark on the young man's forehead, the boss expression changed from the blank into a one filled with desire.
"I think he will definitely win. With his Star Shaping ability, his opponent doesn't stand a chance. I wish I had his Fate Fragment. When my plan is in motion we will hire someone to beat him up, and then we will buy the fragment from him." The Boss said to the dog-face man without even looking at him as his eyes were glued on the Young Man who was preparing for a fight.
"Boss, can't we just kill him and take his fragment when he is out of the city?" A dog-face man asked confused. With his Boss' strength, it wouldn't be hard.
"Idiot, what if this ability is not his main one? Without the referee sent from the Heaven Realm, we can't extract his ability. Star Shaping is an extremely rare fragment and we can't afford to lose it, so we will have to do everything legally. Also, the new chief of the arena is not on my side so I can't rely on his help." The Boss cursed at his lackey and explained his reasons.
He was seriously considering finding another lackey to replace his current one but unfortunately, the fortune he made in the capital didn't mean anything in this place. With his Spirit Stones, he barely bought a small house and rented a private cabin in the arena.
After being a successful merchant for many years, he had enough money to build a city, but he couldn't even afford a good place to stay in this place. He already had plans to earn enough Fate Stones, but he needed more time, which he was lacking. He couldn't earn through fighting as his ability wasn't powerful enough, so until he buys a powerful ability, he would have to find other ways.
"Oh, true..." The dog-face thought for a moment and as if he thought of something super clever, he cried out excitedly, "But wait, can't the Boss be the one to fight him? Boss is so strong! Boss can win with him for sure!"
Hearing his lackey words, the merchant didn't know whether he should laugh or cry. He managed to fool the dog-face man into thinking that he was some kind of a big deal but the truth was, he wouldn't be able to beat most of the Fate Fragment Holders in the arena.
"Cough... well, why would I fight myself, if I can use someone else instead? I can use my brain to do something more profitable during that time. I shouldn't waste my strength on someone like this." The merchant coughed to hide his embarrassment and tried to convince his lackey. Fortunately for him, the dog-face man wasn't that smart and hearing his explanation, he got even more excited.
"Haha, great! Boss is the best! Oh, anyway, I will still get to see Boss fight in the next match in two weeks. I'm so excited! Can't wait!" The dog face man laughed, praising his boss before he recalled the upcoming event and could not help but clap his hands in happiness.
"Wait, what are you talking about? I'm not fighting anyone. Why would anyone challenge me anyway?" The merchant asked confused. His lackey words make him quite panicked.
"But boss you are! Don't you remember when you knocked into someone by accident before you tactically ran away? That person found you and he didn't hesitate to challenge you. What a moron! He does not understand who he is going to fight. Boss, you should make sure that Thousand Blades has his whole body broken after that fight..." The dog face man laughed at the challenger stupidity but then he saw his boss face turning pale and asked worried, "Boss Is something wrong?"
"Of course there is something wrong! Why didn't you tell me earlier?! Fuck... What should I do... Should I run...?" The merchant lashed out at his lackey immediately when he heard his words before he cursed under his breath and tried to think of a solution.
The dog-face man didn't think his boss would be this angry hearing the news as he was supposed to be happy at the challenge. He looked at his boss suspiciously and asked, "Boss, why do you want to run away? Can't you just beat him up? I didn't tell boss earlier cause I thought boss already knows."
"Shit... Of course, I'm not going to run away, I was just joking... It's just that my cultivation is in the breaking point and I currently can't fight. I don't know when will I breakthrough so I need to make some preparations..." The merchant cursed when he realised that he is losing his powerful appearance and stopped himself just in time.
"Haha, that's what I would expect from my boss, nothing else. Doing everything with a well-thought plan. So boss, what are we going to do now?" The dog-face man asked after he regained the belief in his boss.
"Let's go out. We need to put my project into motion earlier than I planned. If I don't buy a good ability in two weeks..." The Merchant made a quick decision and walked out of the private cabin with the excited dog-face man who followed him.
They left in the worst moment without checking the battle on the stage in the arena where the spectacle was about to start. The Merchant was interested in watching the effects of the Star Shaper Ability but in the end, he didn't have the leisure to watch it as a death sickle was hanging next to his neck.
He didn't expect that the famous Thousand Blades would actually take time to challenge him, a nobody, over a small push on the streets. He didn't even hesitate to run at that time as Thousand Blades was already on Heavenly Rankings and he wouldn't think twice before killing him. Even if he was at the bottom of one hundred places, that was still enough to turn him into dust.
On the stage, the young man who had half of his face covered with the black mask, only having a hole for his eye, was waiting for the referee to start. His eyes looked extremely cold, with each of them having a different colour, white and black and even his hair was weird looking.
The half with white pupil had silver hair while the one with a black eye had coal black hair. His face was expressionless, having extreme peace. Watching his handsome high cheekbones with full lips and the aura of mystery around him, some ladies opened the windows of the private rooms before whistling seductively at him.
His clothes were also matching his facial style as he wore only black and white hunter outfit which looked like it was made especially for him.
There was no public audience on the arena as everyone was sitting inside their own private rooms. Only Fate Fragment Holders were allowed to this place so there wasn't a need for such a thing. Each person watching right now was a high tiered expert who wouldn't like to sit with everyone else.
"Ladies and gentleman! We have a great event ahead of us. I got information that every room today is occupied which suggest that everyone is as excited as me for today's match." The referee called out with his lofty voice which travelled into everyone's room when he noticed that the participants were ready.
"Today we are having a battle of a rookie and a veteran. As most of you probably noticed already, our rookie possess a rare Fate Fragment which was last seen many years ago, the Star Shaper. But is that enough to win versus our veteran, Seven Beasts, who already have 4 consecutive victories under his belt and is aiming to soon enter Heavens Ranking?" The referee introduced two participants, hyping the matchup.
When the judge mentioned the veteran of the arena, Seven Beasts, who was a burly man without a shirt, covered in animal tattoos all across his chest, the Seven Beasts roared into the air before calling out to his opponent, "Kiddo! I will crush you so hard that you will regret coming to the central region. There is no one who can help you right now!"
He tried to provoke the Star Shaper user but his efforts turned out to be useless as the handsome man in front of him didn't change his expression from the start. It was pissing him off that the young man wasn't scared even a little bit and that he didn't receive even a bit of respect.
"Before the battle starts, everyone, place your bets inside your room as usual. The payout ratio for the rookie win is zero point five while the Seven Beasts win will bring you ten times the value of your bet. Hope you choose wisely. Remember we only accept Fate Stones as the stakes for the bet." The referee smiled as they finally reached his favourite part of the match, the betting. Having the percentage of each betting earnings he couldn't be more than happy.
"Do you guys want to bet as well? Not only you will earn the losers bet if you win the battle but also the normal stakes." The referee asked looking down from the platform.
"So what kiddo? Want to bet something? Or maybe you don't have anything to bet, huh? I bet one thousand low tier Fate stones." The Seven Beasts grinned as he provoked his opponent. He was quite mad when he heard the ratio of the bets, but he didn't argue with the referee. He was confident in his own abilities and having an even better winnings after his battle was just a great bonus for him.
"Sigh... If I have to fight then I guess I will make the most out of it. Can I bet one of my abilities? You can buy my ability with Fate Stones which I will use to bet. You will be able to redeem it after the fight if I lose." The young man sighed before turning to the referee with a proposition. He didn't have any Fate Stones on him so he couldn't bet anything else.
"Haha, do you plan to sell your Star Shaper ability?" The referee laughed and called out interested.
"Yes. Ten thousand middle tier Fate Stones." The rookie nodded without any emotions on his face and dictated the price.
"Hahaha, what a bold youngster. You are smart for doing some research and I like it. I will agree to your proposition. If you win this battle, the arena will give you fifteen thousand high tier Fate Stones. What is your name Young Man?" The referee laughed even harder than earlier for the first time in a while and in the end, decided to ask for the youngster name.
"I don't have a name anymore, but people used to call me Pio." The young man answered showing some signs of pain on his face but his face quickly returned to normal.
"Pio. I will remember you. Good luck to both of you. Let the match begin!" The referee nodded hearing the name and finally started the match.