Chapter 2 - Claws

"Hey tyke, What's your name?" A voice called out to me, gruff and deep. Where was he? Who was he?

"I… What? Who am I?" I said aloud, genuinely wondering before I remembered what happened, like a bad dream. I was in a corrupted world with weird powers and alien knowledge, and the only thing I knew about myself was that I was called 'Host Green' by the System that put me here in the first place.

"Ha, so you weren't lying about that eh? You really outdid yourself this time Long Feng! In that case, I have a bunch of other willful slaves I would love to do this to. Would definitely make discipline a lot easier…" The gruff voice said again, before I opened my eyes to a strange scene.

A large and round pale man with a dark stubble and balding head was scratching his chin as he looked at me with a strange glint in his eye, a metallic whip resting on his waist. Near him was tall with a vastly receding hairline, tan skin almost starting to wrinkle, with slim snake-like gray eyes. Looking at those eyes, I had a feeling that this man was definitely not one to be crossed, as they stared at him like he was nothing more than a tool to get what he wanted.

Which considering the round man's commentary of me being a slave, made a lot of sense.

The tall man, Long Feng?, nodded toward the round man. Why was that name… Familiar? "I kept my end of the Bargain Yanwu. I expect you to keep yours…" He gazed at the round man, Yanwu, with contempt. It was obvious that Long Feng disliked Yanwu, but-

No, that wasn't important. What was important was getting the hell out of here.

I quickly stood up, surprising Yanwu, before looking around and quickly making a break for the nearest exit.

Quest Gained!

Escape!

You have been kidnapped from your family by the infamous enslaving Pirate Lord, Yanwu! Find a way to escape his clutches before he can do anything with you!

Success:

?

?

Freedom

Failure:

Enslavement

Potential Death

The notification was so sudden and in my face that I tripped over myself and fell onto the floor, before suddenly feeling my body suddenly sink into the earth until only my head was above it. Trying to look around, I noticed Long Feng was in a weird fighting stance before he relaxed. "You should pay more attention to your merchandise, Yanwu. The Dai Li aren't your personal babysitters." Long Feng bit out as he sneered at the increasingly red pirate.

"Shut up and take the damn scroll already. Looks like I'm going to have to retrain this little mutt again." He snarled at me, before crouching near me with a sinister smile as he rubbed my hair. "Won't I?"

I practically growled at the treatment he was giving me, and tried to bite his hand in retaliation. He quickly took his hand away before I saw the look of absolute loathing in his eye as he raised his foot and stomped in my face.

-3 HP

-3 HP

-3 HP

-3 HP

-3 HP

-3 HP

-3 HP

-3 HP

By the end of it, my nose was flowing blood and definitely broken, my entire face pulsing and aching with heat and agony, definitely swelling in places that made it harder to even look straight. I closed my eyes as I heard them talk more, but couldn't even really listen because of how much my face hurt. I felt lightheaded, and couldn't even move a muscle below my neck.

All the while, I saw a notification even though my eyes were closed.

16 XP Gained.

Warning! Status remains unopened, any level ups and XP will be held off until opened!

W-what? Status? I thought blearly, not even meaning to summon the screens on purpose, nor having the time to fully sink in the fact that it just responded to my thoughts.

Status

Name: ?

Gender: Male

Age: 12

Height: 150cm

Talent: Brawl, Reason

Personal Skill: Aptitude

Bonuses: Limitless, Metaknowledge

Element: Locked

Class: Noble

Affiliation: Pirate Slaves

Level: 1

Exp: 16/100

HP: 6/30

Mv: 2

Strength 20

Magic 9

Dexterity 12

Speed 14

Luck 5

Defense 7

Resistance 6

Charisma 6

Before I could even really comprehend what I was looking at, I suddenly got kicked in the face again, this time the lightheaded feeling overcoming me and knocking me out.

LINE BREAK

I jumped up from a sudden jarring movement, banging my head against metal as I woke up in pain. My eyes open wide as I curse at what may amount to another bruise on my head. What the hell? Where am I? Looking around, seeing metal everywhere, I-

-0 HP

You have had a full rest! All lost HP and Magic Uses are replenished! All Status Effects have been cleared!

+4 XP

Noble Class Mastered! +5 HP Mastery Bonus.

Class Change Available!

Huh?

I just woke up, why was this System tossing so many notifications my way already? I haven't even had a chance to think what the hell just happened to me!

I mean seriously, I'm a slave to some abusive man child with a temper problem, I'm stuck in what amounts to a small metal box with a few bars to see through at least, and the system acts like none of this was happening!

Quest "Escape" Failed!

… Fuck you.

Rubbing my head, I look out my little bars, seeing even more small metal boxes like mine, with several more being far larger, and we were all in some sort of wood area. From the smell, room swaying, and distant sound of crashing splashes, they were probably on a ship. A pirate ship, with a pirate who enslaved people, and from the strange sounds coming from plenty of the cages, monsters as well. Damn my Luck.

Sighing, I scrape my legs as I try to sit back into my cramped and uncomfortable box, I remembered the notifications he got before his face got kicked in. It was something about a Status-

Status

Name: ?

Gender: Male

Age: 12

Height: 150cm

Talent: Brawl, Reason

Personal Skill: Aptitude

Bonuses: Limitless, Metaknowledge

Element: Locked

Class: Noble (MASTERED) (+)

Affiliation: Pirate Slaves

Level: 1

Exp: 20/100

HP: 35/35

Mv: 2

Strength 20

Magic 9

Dexterity 12

Speed 14

Luck 5

Defense 7

Resistance 6

Charisma 6

… Did the- The System just read my mind?

Sure, why not right? Fucking Hell…

Looking over my Status in an attempt to try and ignore the fact that the System can probably see my every thought. Scowling at the Affiliation part, as I noticed it labelled me as a mere slave to these damnable pirates, but there were quite a few parts that I was… A bit confused on what did what. What did Talent even do for example?

Talent allows you to gain double your proficiency growth.

Wait, so now it wants to answer my questions? I almost chuckled at how the System seemed to flip and flop around, before deciding to ask as many questions as I could in hopes of getting answers.

Sadly, it still didn't answer anything when I asked about things outside the Status Screen, but it did answer some questions I had with the Screen itself.

Mv, for example, stood for "Movement", and determined how fast I could go in a second at my top speed. Every point in that was another 5 feet added to the max.

The Aptitude thing was also a great boost to his "growth" and Increased all his stats growth by 20, whatever "growth" and "stat growth" meant.

I also got a pretty decent idea on how the stats worked as well after asking about them. They went along like so;

Strength - Affects all damage dealt by physical attacks.

Magic - Affects all damage dealt by magic attacks.

Dexterity - Affects your ability to hit target and critical hit chance.

Speed - Affects how often you can dodge an enemies attack.

Luck - Various minor effects. Decreases risk of an enemy critical hit.

Defense - Reduces Physical Damage.

Resistance - Reduces Magical Damage.

Charisma - Increases effectiveness of allies, ally hit chance, and avoidance rate.

Turns out my worst stat was Luck, go figure. Probably explained why I got so hurt after getting hit in the head so many times. His highest stat being Strength at a respectable 20… At least I hope it was respectful? I had no clue how it was with nothing and no one to compare the stats to, and the System wasn't giving me any sort of average for how most people have their stats, so I would just have to learn the hard way.

Sighing again and rubbing my head through my raven black hair, I wince in pain. The damage may be gone system-wise, but the pain was still there and my nose still seemed to be pretty crooked. Nothing I could really do about it right now without possibly making it worse though.

Looking at the little icon next to my Class however, I remembered that I had a class available to switch to. Rubbing my hands, I grew excited at the prospect of getting some sort of fighting or magic class to get the hell out of here and never have to worry about these stupid pirates again, and go back to-

Go back to where? I… Couldn't remember? It was a weird feeling of Dejavu, where I know I have a place to call home, but I couldn't for the life of me remember where it was. That was really worrying, and I scoured my memory for any hint about my origins or how I lost my memories… Before remembering that Long Feng and Yanwu were pretty weird in the beginning when I first woke up.

They asked me who I was despite apparently enslaving me before that even occurred, and then Yanwu congratulated Long Feng about something… Did Long Feng take away or seal his memories with hypnosis? That didn't really help him much beyond knowing that the only people that probably knew my true identity were the people least likely to give it to me.

Thinking about it, I realized I recognized Long Feng's name somehow and for some reason just assumed the way I lost my memories was because of some hypnosis. I never really learned that knowledge, I just knew in my heart that it was absolutely true. Looking through my status screen in hopes of finding any source of this weird info, I found what I was looking for under Benefits.

MetaKnowledge - Gain canon information around the worlds you enter, up to your current point in time.

That was super useful at least. I was scared that it was something or someone taking over my body, or memories being implanted by Yanwu for obedience of some sort. If that benefit was true, why did I only remember stuff about Dai Li and Long Feng? Did I have to interact with something in the world or something for it to activate?

Shaking my head, I remind myself that I needed to choose a new class if I wanted to have any hope of getting out of here. I quickly scroll back to the class selection option and click the icon near it.

Congratulations! You mastered your first class, unlocking their mastery bonus and are capable of choosing a new class! Every class you pick up can possibly grant skills, free stats, and so on related to the class!

Choose one of the following Classes!

Commoner

Fuck you system.

I tried to swipe it away or something to deny the only choice, but couldn't. It just stood in front of me, blocking my vision enough to annoy me even when I closed my eyes. Alright, fine! I thought furiously after half an hour of not being able to do anything else, not even opening up my status, before deciding to just choose the class.

You chose the class Commoner!

Huffing in annoyance, my stomach started to ache in pain. That's right, I haven't eaten since I came to this world huh? I reach out towards the metal box and start banging on it in hopes that someone heard it. "H-Hey," I croak, before I start coughing and hacking like crazy, my throat flaring up in some sort of flaky pain. Oh… Was I dehydrated? That would explain quite a bit.

Attempting to conjure up some spit and lubricate my throat a bit, wincing at the weird pain until it felt at least serviceable, I tried again. "Hey!" I shouted as I banged on the metal cage. "Help me! I'm hungry, and thirsty, and I don't have anywhere to use the bathroom-" he kept going before a small hole opened and a dart shot out and hit me dead on before I could even react to it.

-0 HP

+2 XP

What-

Then everything went black.

LINE BREAK

When I woke up again, my hands were bound to each other, and something heavy was tied to my feet. Heavy enough that moving them even a little bit made them ache. I look around to see that instead of being in a box, I was in a cell now with a bowl of dirty water and some cooked meat near the cell door. Spotting the food and water, I nearly ran towards them before tripping and slamming face first into the floor.

-0 HP

Hissing in pain, I spit out some blood onto the floor. I'm pretty sure I bit my tongue a bit, but that didn't matter. All I could think about is the food and water in front of me. Quickly crawling towards it, I hastily start gulping down the water to both sate my thirst and help my throat, before digging into the meat with a ferocious appetite. It had a unique taste, almost like pork, but not quite…

It was Delicious.

A blinking light caught the corner of his eye after he finished eating, and when he focused on it, a new notification came up.

Bug Patched! You no longer gain Xp when taking damage unless in combat and landing a hit on at least one of your enemies faction during the battle!

For locating a minor recurring bug in the System, you gain the following rewards!

500 Xp

10 Stat Points

One Benefit

Do you accept these rewards?

Looking at the rewards, I couldn't believe my eyes. On one hand, I just lost a way to make a ton of free XP by hurting myself, and I didn't even realize it until now. But on the other hand… That was at least two or three level ups, more stats, and a Benefit. Going by the Benefits he currently has, they were absolute game changers to have. Of course he would accept them!

Level Up!

Level Up!

Level Up!

Level Up!

Level Up!

Commoner Class Mastered! +5 HP Mastery Bonus!

Stat Increase from Level Up(s);

+5 Hp, +5 Str, +3 Mag, +5 Dex, +4 Spd, +2 Luk, +3 Def, +3 Res, +4 Cha (34)

Level 5 "Beginner" Classes Unlocked!

No Classes Available due to lacking the prerequisites.

Would you like to spend your stat points now?

Five Levels in one? Huh, did it stay 100 XP through all the levels or was that a one time thing? Looking over the gains a smile slowly spread over my lips before confirming.

Pick which stat you wish to put points in!

Current Stats;

HP 45

Strength 25

Magic 11

Dexterity 15

Speed 19

Luck 8

Defense 10

Resistance 7

Charisma 7

There are three stats off the bat he definitely wanted to put points in for three different reasons. Luck because it is one of his lowest stats and he had a feeling it would be pretty smart to get a bit more luck considering his circumstances. HP because more health to work with was always good and would keep him alive, and Strength because it meant he could do even more damage.

He probably wouldn't waste the stats into Luck, mostly because he had no doubt a bit more luck wouldn't really save him at this point. Better off focusing on surviving. With that in mind, doing damage to his captors when they least expect it and having more health to stop him from dying sounded like obvious things to go into. That or Defense, but if someone had enough damage, his defense would only do so much to help right now. Especially if they used magic instead, which was an even weaker stat…

So lost in thought, I didn't even notice I had some visitors until I suddenly heard a banging from the metal door, prompting me to look up quickly before I could come to a choice. Quickly swiping away the following notifications, I paid attention to who arrived at my cell. There were several guards with spears and swords, wearing varying armor, as they were led by a familiar rotund man. His ugly pig-like features made me cringe away as he sloppily ate a chunk of meat without care for how much gunk and saliva fell onto the floor.

"Alright mutt, let's see if you're a worthy investment." He garbled out as he chewed, letting out a small burp before he walked closer. I quickly moved to get up, maybe to hit him and possibly kill him before anything, but the moment I got up, the guards near him took out their weapons. Pausing at that, I took it as the warning it was and could do nothing as the revolting Yanwu grabbed me by my binds and dragged me effortlessly, despite the weights on my legs.

He dragged me down several hallways, the guards following, as I noticed many cells with other people in them. Many of them were crying with light bounds, some were just laying there… Unmoving. It was horrible, how anyone could do this to someone else… And from the smirk the culprit gave me, my face must've shown just how horrified I was. There was even one that chittered and jumped around like an animal, covered in scars and muscle, full of energy. At least, that was before he suddenly froze when Yanwu glanced at them. Wait, Was that-

Fear?

Not given much time to contemplate why the person would fear Yanwu so much, he tossed me into what looked to be a metal corridor before nodding to his guards. When he did so, they went over to me and started cutting my bindings and taking off the weights. I glanced back up at the man in confusion.

"Here's the deal mutt. I'm betting a lot on your purple blood getting through this, but I don't lose a whole lot if you don't. If you win, you get to live, and I'll let one of the poor little things we passed by go free. If you try to escape, or don't win a fight…" He trailed off with a smirk, before crouching near me with a glint in his green eyes.

"Well, we could always use more fresh meat." He finished with a lick of lips.

My mind raced as I processed that. I didn't owe these strangers anything, I was just a kid and I didnt know who they were. Did I really care enough to fight for their sake?

Are you so heartless as to let them take your place?

If I won, they would be let free. It would weaken this disgusting pig's influence and power every time I won, and when there was no one left to take my place… I could run without worry. The only other option was to try and escape, probably fail, and doom innocents to fight, probably to the death.

Innocents who didn't have my power, my advantages. Who were weak enough to not require any serious restraints…

I didn't owe them anything, but I couldn't go through with being the reason they ended up dead. I wouldn't orphan children, widow husbands and wives, just because of a chance to escape. A chance that may not work out, and even if it did, I had no idea where I was or where I could go. I wouldn't go so far for my own sake, I wasn't going to be like him. I was stuck, and Yanwu knew it as his smirk grew bigger and bigger as time passed in silence. All I could do was glare at him.

I would kill him, that was assured. I just had to wait…

"Wonderful! Well then, I best get going. Wouldn't want to miss the show now do I? What a fantastic show it'll be…" He chuckled as he stood and started hobbling out the door, before stopping, as if considering something. "And ask the guards for a weapon, any weapon you feel comfortable with. Wouldn't be entertaining if you died without a fight." He finished with that sickening smirk, and left down the hall with a jaunty tune.

The guards just stood there silently, waiting, expectantly, for me to ask for a weapon. I grit my teeth in annoyance. On one hand, having a weapon would just make everything easier for me to live through whatever they toss at me. On the other, that was exactly what the pirates wanted me to do. I wasn't stupid enough or prideful enough to try and fight bare handed, especially as something gave me the feeling that I wouldn't be able to do much damage if I did try that for some reason, but I wished there was some sort of alternative.

Glancing at their swords and spears, I tried thinking of what weapon would work best with my Brawl Talent. I needed to get that up, and I had a feeling I wouldn't level it very well if I used a Sword. After a moment, I remembered the Dai Li and their choice of weaponry, before looking around.

"I don't suppose you can give me some Dai Li Rock Gloves, can you?" I muttered unsurely.

The guards looked at each other, and opened their mouth-

LINE BREAK

Turned out they couldn't, which should've been obvious considering they weren't Dai Li, nor earth benders. They ended up giving me some rusted metal gauntlets, which worked just fine as a Brawl Weapon apparently. It contrasted with my relatively nude form, with only some rags covering my modesty, but it was something. The guards were already gone, the door behind him locked, as the door in front of him had shouts and cheers shaking the door, with an occasional dent or two going into his door.

I was really doing this. I was about to fight someone else for a sick monster's amusement, and all I could do was just hope with all my heart that it wasnt to the death. After several minutes, the door started to creak open as I heard the tail end of the announcer's voice.

"-Let's give a hand to the fallen from grace newbie!"

I started walking forward as I heard boos and cheers in equal measure, so loud it drowned the announcer's voice for a few seconds, before he continued on anyway. I looked around and found myself in a large circular ring, about 25 feet by 25 feet at the least, with a large metal net above the entire ring. Behind that net were hundreds of masked people cheering and booing, and on a stupid throne was Yanwu. Next to him was a large man with short black hair covered in thick black armor, with a stupidly large sword on his back.

I roll my shoulder in preparation for the future fight, noticing the many scratches on the metal walls, holes in the floor, scorch marks and blood everywhere. Did they send in people who had the elemental powers in here? If so, I could be in a bit of trouble. Should I use my gacha now to get something? Maybe he should spec his stats into resilience so they don't do much damage-

"Coming from a lovey-dovey cave with a rodent problem, meet his challengers! The Wolfbats!"

Quest Received!

Tutorial!

You have been caught by the malicious Yanwu! Prove yourself, grow stronger, and find a way to get out of here!

Victory Conditions; Yanwu's Death

Bonus Conditions; Win Every Duel, Kill No One, Become Level 20 within a Year.

Failure Conditions; Death

Rewards; Element Unlocked, ? Skill (Win Every Duel), ? Benefit (Kill No One), ? Stats (Become Level 20 within a Year)

I jumped at the sudden notification, skimming over it and noticing there wasn't an ability to accept or deny it. There was no time to think further on it, as I readied myself and then saw them.

Five canine-like figures came out the entrance, their faces reminiscent of a hog with far more wrinkles and sharp teeth. They moved erratically, looking around for an exit with their winged forearms being used to help them fly, before they hit the net and screeched.

It didn't take them long to notice the only thing they could properly bleed and kill in the place. Me.

I quickly raise my fists, trying to stave off the nerves creeping up my spine. I never fought before, and my first experience was about to be with a handful of deadly predators that would have no hesitation to bite through my neck like nothing… They were as much victims as I was, taken from their rightful home, probably starving to try and fight me so openly, and no way out.

But I couldn't afford to lose. People will die if I lose, and I can't allow them to. Not even if it means I have to kill innocent animals in the crossfire. I can't go half-assed at this, because if I do, I will die.

I'm sorry. I mentally apologized to the creatures, as one of them tries to rush me from behind, the rest still circling me.

I quickly turned around and noticed the wolfbat was in mid-leap to attack him, surprising me as I quickly backed away and tossed a punch loosely at the creature as a pure reactionary move. Suddenly the poor creature started screeching in agony as I lightly hit its shoulder, before a damage marker came up.

20 Damage!

It quickly backed up, looking half dead and far more cautious. Looking around I noticed the others were snarling at me with a drool coming out, and I tried to calm myself down quickly before they attacked again. Breathe In… Breathe Out… After a lull, three of them immediately went onto the offensive, with the injured one staying back with another carefully watching.

This time, I steeled myself and quickly smashed my gauntlet into the open maw of one of the monsters, causing something to snap to the side as the creature screeched in pain. Not giving it any chance to recover, I moved in quickly and gave it a harsh elbow strike down onto its back, causing it to go still. Taking advantage of the distraction however, one of the Wolfbats bit deep into my leg, while the other flew up and scratched at my face. Reeling in pain and shock, I trip backwards from the painful hold the second Wolfbat had on my leg.

Suddenly a bunch of notifications flew by my eyes, but I ignored them as I quickly went to punch the creature still mauling my leg. The creature, easily seeing my punch coming, and the two aggressors swiftly backed away and regrouped with its wounded pack member. I quickly move to get up, cringing in pain from my leg being almost torn apart.

I took a glance at my HP, keeping my stats on the side of my vision, and grew worried at the number I saw.

21/45

That was… After two hits? 12 damage a hit, 22 if you include what his Defense stat negated. These things hit hard. I could only stand another two hits before I was killed by the sheer damage. Quickly bringing up my stats, I bring up the notification that will let me place my extra stats into something and start dumping them all into one specific stat, something that will keep me alive during this.

As I started making gestures to bring up my status screen and place my stats however, one of the Wolfbats noticed my distraction and made to take advantage of it. I notice the movement out of the corner of my eye and start to move to intercept them with another punch, but while it was mid leap, it used its wings to shift mid-air and easily dodge the telegraphed fist, before countering the attack with a bite on his outstretched arm. This time, I didn't ignore the notification that came to me.

-12 HP

9/45

One more hit, and I was dead. I quickly grappled the creature biting down on my arm, holding it as I quickly hit it a few times. After the second hit, the monster went still, and before the others could react and capitalize on my weakness, I immediately put all ten of my extra stats into Defense.

Are you sure you want to-

Yes! I thought, quickly dismissing the notification and preparing to fight the last three creatures. One was injured, and if the last two were anything to go by, it only took two hits to take these things down. The problem was landing the hits without taking a hit, and that wasn't even taking into account the fact that they were faster than me-

Five more hits. I just needed to land five more hits total, and I could win this. With nine health and quickly did the mental calculations for how many times I could be hit…

Five times. It would take five hits to kill me.

I almost chuckled at that, before everything suddenly felt clear and crisp. Everything seemed to slow to a crawl, and the three monsters quickly made their way to me. Thinking fast, I kicked up the sand enough to stop them from going for my legs again, wincing all the while, and before keeping my hands up in a loose stance. I didn't know what I was doing, but as long as I could land the punches in, I could live through this.

The sand kicked up high enough to keep the monsters from going low at me as planned, and the injured one started flying up to the net. I note it being there, before refocusing on the other two. They tried to make me move first by coming in relatively close and circling me, but I stood my ground where the sand was kicked up, not taking any chances. Everytime the sand started ro go back down and settle, I kicked it back up.

The monsters, no doubt noticing the pattern after a few times, waited until the sand started going down and I started kicking before they both attacked from both my left and my right. Swiftly moving to a more low and solid stance, I immediately punched out at the canine beast on my right once it was too close to dodge, hitting it right in the throat. It made a strange garbled screech before it fell to the floor unmoving.

Wait, did it just go down in one hit? Why?

With no time to think on it further, the other one immediately jumped onto me, scratching and biting my side, causing me to fall onto the ground. I yelped in pain as several new cuts opened and blood started flowing even more than before, as I instinctively kicked out at it as we tumbled. It screeched in pain, and clawed out at that throat.

Thinking fast, I move to lower my chin down to defend my neck, but scream out in agony when a large gash cuts across my mouth, extending the corners of my lips by quite a bit. Angry and in pain, I swiftly bludgeon my fists into the face of the creature over and over, not caring when I feel the Wolfbats skull cave into my Gauntlets.

After a few seconds, I manage to calm myself down enough to stop bashing the stupid things head in and noticed my hands were absolutely covered in blood and gore. Most of it wasn't even mine. Everything smelled like iron and a sickly disgusting smell spread across the air, the smell of newly made corpses. I… I killed the monsters.

As the adrenaline wore off, and time seemed to come back to normal, I heard the loud screams and cheers from the crowd. They enjoyed this. Enjoyed seeing a child fight to the death with a bunch of monsters with nothing but some rusted metal gloves. Enjoyed seeing a child bleed and nearly die-

I nearly died.

The thought finally hit me, and looking around the bloody battle, I couldn't help myself from vomiting all over the ground. I nearly died, and for what? To a bunch of monsters, for some sick pirates, and-

Suddenly, I felt a large weight on my back and was reminded that the battle isn't over. Glance behind me was the Wolfbat I first hit, still heavily wounded as it opened its maw to bite down- My eyes widened in realization as I quickly jerked to the side, causing it to bite deep into my shoulder.

If I didn't jerk away just in time, it would have bit into my neck. I would have died.

Despite the deep sense of tiredness I felt after the adrenaline wore off, I still had enough energy in me to get pissed. I didn't want to fight these things, and before the fight, I would have happily gone my own way without ever having to fight these things.

The Wolfbats clearly didn't feel the same way, considering every chance they got they went straight for the kill.

Grabbing the upper jaw of the disgusting looking creature, a part of me imagined its face being replaced with Yanwu, and I proceeded to rapidly pull the jaw to the side hard enough to separate it from the lower jaw, tossing the rest of the body over my shoulder as the lower jaw stayed deep into my shoulder.

Breathing deeply, I take a minute to center myself and ignore the announcer's voice, before looking at my health. As I do that however, a large amount of notifications suddenly pass over my vision, coming and going before I can read some of them.

1/45

Congratulations! You won your first battle!

7 hits taken, 9 hits given

+32 XP

+64 Proficiency (Brawl)

Brawl Leveled Up! Brawl is now E+!

New Skill Gained! Brawling Prowess (I) Passive-

You have gained your first skill! Make sure to equip your active skills so you can gain their effects! Passive skills always take effect, however, so don't worry about equipping them. You have five skill slots-

For winning your first battle with your fists, you gain a New Skill-

New Skill Gained-

Bleeding Status Effect-

The world started spinning for a moment as I read the texts, and the ground started rushing towards me. Earthbenders? But-

LINE BREAK

The crowd was applauding the show with a fervor unseen since Redlight herself started cooking some Wolfbats from the inside-out. Ah, that was quite the showing, but there was something animalistic, something primal around seeing someone fight for their life with nothing but their bare hands!

Well, excluding metal gauntlets, but still.

He chuckled at the boy falling to the ground, no doubt from the constant blood loss since the beginning of the fight. Not that it was a very long fight, only about a handful of minutes or so, but these little pests sure knew how to make the mutt bleed.

A mutt that had claws it turned out.

Glancing over at the large black swordsman next to him, he smirked and took another bite of his favorite meats. Blackblade was a truly loyal hound of his, and it helped that the hound wouldn't dare bite the hand that fed it, the hand that kept a certain something he wanted from him. A tragedy really, that he discovered Long Feng's little talents, but it couldn't be helped. Really.

"So, what do you think?" He said while he chewed, uncaring of how the hound expressed its disgust. Didn't matter really.

"I think you should stop putting kids in these rings. He obviously has never seen actual combat, and the only reason he's alive is because he can hit surprisingly hard for someone with that frame…" Blackblade said. He almost chuckled at the thought of its name, knowing he likely had a name before all of this. No one dared question his code names however, even when they were so simple that it bordered on the levels of silly.

"It would take a lot of work to make him into a Blackhound. Why are you pushing him into my department so hard anyway?" It asked him, voice full of suspicion. Aww, its trying to figure him out! Wasn't that cute?

"Don't you worry about that. Let's just say that now that the pup has blooded itself, I have an… Investment in them. Can you handle the tasks I gave you or not?" He asked it, his face starting to droop down into a frown, causing the hound to stiffen.

"No." Blackblade said nervously, sweat dripping from his brow. "It wont be a problem at all Yanwu."

"Good. Now get the mutt out of there already, and get it a water healer. Would be a damn shame if it died after all these promises now wouldn't it?" He snorted as his smile came back with a vengeance, stretching his face up and out unnaturally. Such are the benefits of being Yanwu.

Crossing his hands, he watched the unconscious boy even as Blackblade started to walk away. Before it completely walked out the doorway however, he spoke up again.

"As for the mutt's name…" He trailed off, a sudden random color coming into his mind with certainty as he remembered the previous thought process of the mutt having claws. A perfect name!

"From now on, refer to it as 'Greenclaw'"

END LINE BREAK

Status

Name: ? "Greenclaw"

Gender: Male

Age: 12

Height: 150cm

Talent: Brawl, Reason

Personal Skill: Aptitude

Bonuses: Limitless, Metaknowledge, Gacha

Element: Locked

Class: Commoner (MASTERED)

Affiliation: Pirate Slaves

Level: 6

Exp: 54/100

HP: 1/45

Mv: 2

Strength 25

Magic 12

Dexterity 17

Speed 18

Luck 7

Defense 20

Resistance 9

Charisma 10

Proficiencies (E - S+)

Sword E

Axe E

Lance E

Bow E

Brawl E+ (x2)

Reason E (x2)

Faith E

Authority E

Heavy Armor E

Riding E

Flying E

Abilities

Brawling Prowess I (Rank E+) - Grants Hit +5, Avo +7, and Crit Avo +5 when brawling.

Growth Rates

(Percentile chance for a stat to grow on level up) (rounded to the nearest 5)

HP - 60 (+20) = 80

Strength - 65 (+20) = 85

Magic - 45 (+20) = 65

Dexterity - 55 (+20) = 75

Speed - 55 (+20) = 75

Luck - 20 (+20) = 40

Defense - 30 (+20) = 50

Resistance - 25 (+20) = 45

Charisma - 20 (+20) = 40

AUTHOR NOTES

Surprise! Bet you didn't expect another chapter so soon huh? Admit it, most of you had no clue I wouldn't take another year to write this chapter! Unless of course you're one of the few who I showed this to beforehand, or are reading this after everything and don't have to wait…

Well a lot of stuff happened in this chapter! Setting up the first arcs main antagonist, glimpses at important side characters, hints to some worldbuilding that will come into effect later, my first time writing a fight scene, and I was even generous enough to have the full status of the MC on full display!

Then again, maybe I will put down at least the Status on the bottom of every chapter, as well as new abilities and updates or such. What do you all think of the chapter? Loved it? Hated it? Think Yanwu is disgusting? Wondering who's tall, dark, and relatively handsome? Make sure to comment, as that has been my source of empowerment lately, and follow the story if you want to see more!

Side note, just in case, "tyke" translates to "A small child", "A dog", and/or "a coarse unpleasant man". Two out of three of those things our MC is. It just feels a lot more insulting than it actually is for some reason.

Until then, see you next chapter everyone.