48 Hours a Day - Chapter 775
The retirement of Sethnets significantly impacted Victor Arena, where nowadays, it was hard to see it being filled. However, one could not deny that the Victor Arena was built on a rock-solid foundation. Mark Reuss was, after all, managing the second biggest arena in Rome.
Other than Sethnets, there were several less popular gladiators, including Habitus, Nasica, and Rufus. Coupled with many mid-tier gladiators, Victor Arena was still able to attract the people to watch their gladiatorial performances.
As of the day of the performance, two-thirds of the seats in the arena’s stands were sold. Mark Reuss, however, was still displeased. After he greeted the nobles and their family members, he returned to his seat and began to frown again.
Other than the audience’s loss, Mark Reuss was frustrated by the gladiator show that would be held by the royal family in a month.
Aside from the possible monetary loss, he knew that other troubles were waiting for him. The gladiator school he ran was currently the second largest in Rome, but it was now going downhill. Several competitors were waiting to devour him.
Therefore, the performance in a month could have a more severe impact on Victor Arena. Not only was the new Emperor going to announce the arrival of his reign, but all the gladiator schools might also undergo enormous changes. Although Mark Reuss had many cards for him to play in his hand, he was still missing the most crucial card.
It was the biggest trump card.
According to the information he obtained, a lot of gladiator schools had recruited some very powerful newcomers. The retirement of Sethnets also meant that the gladiators had now entered a new era of heroes. Usually, everyone would be active in their gladiator school. It was rare for the gladiators from different gladiator schools to gather together. If any gladiator could stand out from the crowd and take the final crown, a new king would be born.
And the school behind that gladiator would also become the biggest winner.
That was why Mark Reuss had been rushing Gaby to look for a successor for Sethnets. And because of that, Mark Reuss did not mind risking Bach’s life. He knew that Bach would be safer if he could train a little longer before letting him fight with other gladiators. Unfortunately, the imminent crisis was getting closer.
As a courageous businessman, he knew that it was time for him to make a move. But in his heart, he did not know whether Bach was powerful enough to defeat the other gladiators from other schools. Maybe he should talk to Habitus again and take a few steps back.
Just when Mark Reuss was lost in thought, the gladiatorial performance had begun. A small orchestra was invited to play as a prelude to the battle. They stood on a slowly rising platform in the middle of the arena and started to play their instruments.
After that, a group of antelopes suddenly ran out from the gate on the side of the arena. The cheers from the auditorium spooked them, and they started to run frantically around in the arena. One of them wanted to jump towards the audience stage, but the arena had prepared the corresponding measures to make sure that it would not happen.
A wall with a height of three meters was built at the lowest level of the audience stand. Other than that, large nets were being fixed on each pillar. These nets could block the wild beasts from entering the stands, and at the same time, enable the audience to keep their eyes on their favorite gladiators. Hence, no one was afraid when they saw the jumping antelope. And there were even ladies who stood up to look at the antelopes curiously.
From the time of Caesars, the wild animal performance had been part of gladiatorial shows. Usually, it would be conducted before the gladiator battles. Unlike what was shown in most films and television series, the gladiators would not be asked to fight with those wild animals. That was the beastmaster’s task. A while ago, Zhang Heng and Varo saw how the wild animals were used to execute the prisoners. Other than that, the arena would also offer beast hunting and taming performances and some battles between wild beasts to entertain the audience.
What everyone saw now was a hunting performance between a hunter and an antelope. Later, they would make a lion fight with a bear. In the end, the winner among the wild animals would face the beastmaster.
The arrangement of the whole performance was getting more and more exciting. It elevated the audience’s mood and made them extremely nervous, especially when the beastmaster walked towards the stage. Both men and women shouted the name of the beastmaster together as they watched him fight the ferocious beast. And the beastmaster had to pay attention and dodge the beast’s sharp claws. During the fight, he managed to leave a couple of slash wounds on the beast with the weapon in his hand.
At the same time, the beast was only becoming more irritated.
There was nothing more charming than looking into Death’s eyes, constantly mocking Death and escaping his grasp. Some women screamed frantically for him, willing to dedicate themselves to him. One had to admit they were comparable to the most ardent fans of the later generations. The face hidden beneath the helmet was not that handsome; some might even consider him ugly. That was because of the three long scars on the left of his face, and it almost disfigured him. Those scars were left by a cunning cheetah that he had fought with a while ago.
However, in those women’s eyes, there was no better love medicine in this world than those scars. At least, in the arena at this moment, he was the dream lover of all those women. As Juvena, the poet, said, what girls loved the most was not his face but his sword.
Finally, the experienced beastmaster successfully killed the beast in front of him.
He then stuck his sword into the ground in front of him, took off his armor, and enjoyed the cheers and triumphs of his victory.
And after him, it was the gladiator’s turn to fight.
Zhang Heng and Varo were not among them. Their performance was slotted on the third day. The two did not even go to the arena. However, a much-anticipated battle would be held in the afternoon.
It was the battle between Bach and Rufus.
Black Sickle was a Victor Arena celebrity. The audience, on the other hand, knew nothing about Bach. All they knew was that he was a rookie.
However, this time, Victor Arena broke the rules and included him in the advertisement. Clearly, he was extremely valuable to them.
The audience was obviously more willing to believe in Black Sickle, seeing how he would win battle after battle in front of the audience. And it could be seen on the odds of their bets.
Gambling had always been inseparable from the arena since ancient times. In the arena, not only could the audience enjoy the gladiatorial performances, but they could also bet on their favorite gladiators.
On the other side, Varo asked Zhang Heng, who was training with him, “Who do you think will win the battle?”
“I have never seen Rufus the Black Sickle’s combat skills. However, since Gaby made such an arrangement, it meant that he is optimistic about Bach. So if I were to bet, I would bet on Bach.” Zhang Heng said.
“So Rufus will surely lose in the battle?”
“If Bach successfully completes all the training, Rufus will be defeated by Bach. However, that is not the case. It means Rufus still stands a chance to defeat Bach.” Zhang Heng said. Ever since Dadatis told him about the grand gladiatorial performance held at the Flavium Amphitheatrum, he now knew why Mark Reuss wanted to make Bach his trump card as soon as possible.
But this gladiatorial performance might be different from what he imagined.