The prelude to the championship battle was about to commence.
Like a grand festival arriving, all the alien lifeforms on Planet Sakaar were in a state of excitement. Whether they were residents of the inner city or scavengers from the outer city, they willingly set aside their work and were determined not to miss even the prelude of the championship duel.
Their expressions were fervent as they whistled and held up support cards for their favorite champions. Some enthusiasts even painted their faces and clothes to match the colors of their chosen competitors. They gathered in groups on the main streets of the city, marching spiritedly towards the location of the arena.
Overhead in the Sakaar City sky, dozens of guardian spaceships were distributed at intervals, forming a network of coverage in a one-kilometer radius centered around the Sakaar Central Building. They firmly controlled the airspace, guiding the masses below with columns of light and broadcasts into the arena.
As Kyle and Calvin left the hotel, they immediately merged into the crowded stream on the main street. They were surrounded by peculiar-looking extraterrestrial beings, and the waves of celebration washed over them from all directions.
Amidst the extraterrestrial crowd, even Kyle couldn’t help but be infected by the festive atmosphere.
The extraterrestrial lifeforms’ anticipation for the upcoming championship duel was evident, and their enthusiasm was no less than that of dedicated fans of the World Cup back on Earth.
“Whenever there’s a match in the arena, this Planet Sakaar, built on a foundation of trash, seems to come alive with energy and excitement,” Calvin sighed.
The local alien residents seemed to release their primal nature for seeking strength and slaughter, using this as an opportunity to break free from the monotony of life on this seemingly prison-like planet.
Kyle nodded in understanding.
The pursuit of becoming stronger was a shared goal among all lifeforms in the universe, not merely a way to pass the time.
On this planet, there were lost extraterrestrial races from across the universe. Placing them together in life-and-death fights to determine their ranking was something that anyone would enjoy witnessing.
The arena was located behind the Central Building, a colossal Interstellar stadium. Its flat cylindrical structure, including the Iron clad exterior walls, had a radius of five hundred meters. The central area was open-air, radiating brilliant lights towards the surroundings and the sky.
At this moment, from above, one could see the planet’s inhabitants pouring into the arena like densely packed ants, swarming in from all directions as if returning to their nests.
Afraid of getting trampled amidst the crowd, the diminutive Calvin grabbed onto Kyle’s shoulder, floating with his bag-like form. Looking at the giant stadium before them, he remarked, “The Stellar Duel Arena can accommodate an audience of up to two hundred thousand people. In another half hour, it’ll likely be filled with over eighty percent of the planet’s inhabitants.”
Hearing this staggering statistic, Kyle’s mouth dropped in astonishment.
It was probably only Planet Sakaar, this deranged lost world, where the local residents were so fanatical about the unprecedented viewing experience.
As they reached the entrance of the arena, Kyle was surprised to find that ticket prices were tiered into three, six, and nine levels, based on proximity and height. Even the seats at the farthest back required Five Hundred Units!
Calvin, who usually valued money more than anything, didn’t hesitate this time. He joined Kyle in purchasing seats worth a Thousand Units each.
“Perhaps that’s the charm of the championship fight,” Kyle shook his head as he observed that many scavengers, who were often too poor to afford even housing or a hotel, were more enthusiastic about buying duel tickets than anyone else.
For the lifeforms on this planet, it seemed that duel tickets were a necessity for life, allowing them to feel the meaning of being alive.
After passing through the extraterrestrial security check, Kyle and Calvin entered the arena according to their tickets.
Their seats were located in the second-floor section towards the front of the arena. Looking down, they had a perfect view of the expansive circular battleground.
In Calvin’s words, the third to tenth-floor sections behind were less comfortable for viewing, and the first-floor area in the front sometimes posed risks. Therefore, the second floor was the best viewing area.
Kyle sat in his seat, surveying his surroundings. The interior of the Interstellar stadium was already filled with a large number of extraterrestrial spectators. Even before the match officially began, the audience’s passionate cheers continued unabated. Their intense gazes were fixed on the cement arena below.
“Even this is just a warm-up match. If this is the prelude, how extravagant will the championship match be? What kind of talents do the challengers who have come possess?” Kyle clenched his fist lightly. His heart, like his pulse, was influenced by the atmosphere, beating forcefully and rhythmically.
Up to this point, he hadn’t thoroughly studied the extraterrestrial races. The Big Eye Monster alien he killed could only be considered a level-five opponent.
Given his current status, including his Earthly perfect Super Soldier physique and the hundreds of combat techniques he possessed, where would his power rank among the various levels of the universe?
Kyle felt a sense of urgency. The Sakaar Championship Duel provided the perfect opportunity to gauge the general level of combat strength across the universe’s different regions. By understanding his potential opponents, he could gain a clearer understanding of his own position.
Before he could dwell on this further, with a high-pitched exclamation from the audience, over a dozen miniature flying devices burst onto the scene. These devices projected brilliant lights into the sky above the dueling arena, forming the holographic image of the Grandmaster’s full body.
Grandmaster’s projection scanned the surroundings, and with an amiable smile, he said, “Dear audience, the spectacular performance is about to begin! Are you all excited?”
The ear-splitting response from the Interstellar stadium was a resounding cheer.
“I am your host. Let’s give our applause to the challengers who will fall on the battlefield during the warm-up matches. Their spirit and courage deserve commendation,” Grandmaster chuckled, spreading his hands and saying, “I hope that each of you, like me, will not be disappointed today.”
“Grandmaster…” Kyle’s eyes flickered. He looked upwards at the highest point of the arena, where there was a special viewing platform with floor-to-ceiling windows. Grandmaster himself and his trusted guards were likely stationed there.
“Without further ado, I declare that the official matches of the tournament have begun!”
“Now, I invite all the qualifiers to enter the arena!”
After Grandmaster spoke, his projection waved down, and the large Iron Man doors on all four sides of the dueling arena slowly opened.
Amidst the ecstatic cheers of the crowd, countless shadows moved within the gates. Various challengers rushed out, some in armor and armed, while others showed their animalistic forms with empty hands. Roaring and growling, they stepped onto the dueling arena.
“Is this a free-for-all in the warm-up match?” Kyle asked, somewhat surprised.
Calvin nodded and replied, “Exactly. After all, there’s a huge disparity in the strength of the challengers during the warm-up phase. One-on-one matches would take too much time. So, in the beginning, they use a free-for-all to eliminate the majority.”
Pausing for a moment, Calvin continued excitedly, “The last four challengers left standing on the field will advance to the second phase. They will compete in one-on-one matches to determine the strongest challenger in this event. The reigning champion, who has been dominant here, will come out to defend their title!”
**(End of this chapter)**
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