Foo Fighting Fred jumps onto the stage and begins writing around doing weird-pitched yells like he is an expert martial artist.

“I do not expect this to be much of a challenge, but I would like to get to know you,” I say to Foo Fighting Fred. “Pray tell, where do you come from?”

“Dover, Delaware!” Hiya!” He mimics a kicking attack in the air.

“I have not heard of such a place yet, but I wish to visit it. Are all of your people like you?”

“What does that mean? Hey, I’m not actually Chinese, okay? I’m Hmong, and I just needed a stage gimmick. Don’t tell anyone please.”

“Your mannerisms are fake, and played up for the audience? Oh, you’re following the rules of the Rainbow Circuit fighting club quite well, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, you too, right? You’re like some cosplay anime twink except no giant sword allowed.”

“In the Goddess’s name, what is a twink?!” I shout, just loud enough that the noise of the crowd fades into near silence again. “People keep using this word, and it confuses me a great deal…”

“Well, I’d tell you, but…” Ding ding ding! Fight start.

Foo Fighting Fred zips around, bobbing and weaving and trying to get a close position on me.

He jabs, fingers forward—

I catch his wrist.

“Uh oh,” he says.

“Uh oh indeed,” I say. “Goodbye.”

I toss Foo Fighting Fred and he lands somewhere in the crowd, far off-stage.


And also, Ding! [+1 DP.]

The audience erupts into an upracious chorus of boos.


Three women, each of them wearing color-coded suits of pink, blue, and yellow, enter the stage. They have frilly dresses and deep scowls on their faces. The girl in pink, if I did not know about the deception of “cosplayers” earlier, would have been a dead ringer for a North Spire resident. However, I know that she is merely a fraud masquerading as one of my people.

“Okay, in this corner, we have a tag-team battle going on,” DJ Koin, the announcer, says with little emotion left in her voice. “Normally, we here at the Rainbow Circuit fight club would not condone anime in any form or fashion. We still do not endorse anime and recommend you never watching it, but our newest team is a desperate measure against a truly despicable enemy. This is Team Prescription, here to give the medicine that is PAIN.”

The three women do a strange salute.

“I would like to introduce myself to the three of you,” I say. “My stage name is Blaze Blitzer, and I am a new combatant here ready to ‘kick the butts’ of any and all foes, to put it like my friend Francis Bacall says.”

“You know Francis Bacall?!” the blue one shouts. “Wow!”

“So, normally, we’re all supposed to fight separately, but they told us to attack you at once, so here we are,” the pink one says. “We’re Team Prescription, the magical girls from our favorite anime series Byouin ga Takasugite, Doushyoukana?!.”

“Cure Sally, why are you telling this jerk all this?” the yellow one asks. “Can’t we just fight him already?”

“I thought it’d be proper, Cure Holly. What do you think, Cure Billy?”

“It doesn’t matter to me,” the blue one, Cure Billy, says. “I just want to meet Francis Bacall. Is he here? Can I see him?”

Ding ding ding ding!”

“Oh, time to fight,” says Cure Sally, the pink one.

They charge at me at once.

I knock them out in seconds.

Sadly, I only get one Destiny Point for the whole thing.


The bearded man in the black suit from when we first entered the warehouse now steps onto the stage and rips the tie off his neck.

“Listen here, punk, I’m gonna beat your ass in if it’s the last thing I do,” he tells me.

“What is your name, though? I’d like to learn all about my opponents before I defeat them, so that I can honor your memory. Not that you will face serious injury or death, but a name and backstory will help cement you in my mind for years to come.”

“You’re making fun of me,” the man says. “I’ve been at this place for eight years, and you’re the first person to make fun of me. That ends now.”

The announcer announces, “Is there anyone else who might be willing to challenge Blaze Blizter? Anyone at all?” We are waiving all entrance fees, and giving you eighty percent off all concessions just to try it out. Anyone is welcome. This is DJ Koin, and if nobody else wants to fight him I may be contractually obliged to do it myself. I highly recommend that you do not make DJ Koin fight this guy herself. She is not a good fighter, trust these words from the woman herself!”

The man shakes his head. “They just assume you can beat me. They don’t know just how built I am.”

“What does that mean? Built? Are you a building?”


I shove my palm in his chest. He flies backwards, hits the ropes, then bounces back to where he was. He skids to a stop in exactly the same spot he was standing before.

“…I… But…”

I uppercut him and he’s knocked out in seconds.


Only the Destiny Point dings this time. [+1 DP.]

I’m up to 53 DP by now, with opponent after opponent facing me and losing pretty badly. I now have enough Destiny Points for a level-up, which is quite amazing in my opinion! I don’t really have to worry about my Life Points at all, as long as I have a few seconds to level up in between battles.


“Who’s next?” I ask.

The crowd has mostly left the warehouse by now. The stragglers remaining are shouting obscenities at me and someone even throws a can of beer in my direction. It nearly collides with my face, but I swat it away—

Right at the perfect angle to hit the woman who threw it in her own face, knocking her out.


[+1 DP.]

[54 DP.]

I am very glad that that counted as a battle.

The announcer heaves a loud sigh that reverberates throughout the arena. “I think the Rainbow Circuit fight club is doomed. Our reputation is shot and our fighters are all unconscious. Therefore, it is time for me to enter the ring myself. I just pray I will last longer than that kung fu guy did. Oh—oh, wait, we might be in luck. The boys are here.”

Delta and Francis run up to the edge of the stage again.

“Oh, hello, my two dear friends,” I say. “What might be your inquiry now?”

“Let’s take the winnings and get the hell out of here,” Delta says. “Now. Right now.”

“Why? I’m getting so many Destiny Points right now. At least until the grind becomes less effective and these weak opponents stop producing any points for me, I want to make the most of it.”

“We need to get out of here!” Francis shouts. “C’mon!”

“But I see nothing wrong with at least fighting the obnoxious announcer, right? She surely deserves it after all those mean things she said about those cosplay girls.”

“Oh yeah, you know that blue one, Cure Billy or whatever? She gave me her number. Isn’t that sweet? I got a phone number from a fan! And, uh, a girl too! The girl part is important because she is presumably a very attractive lady whenever she is not wearing a magical girl costume.”

“Ah, yes,” I say. “She mentioned you when—”

“Stop chit-chatting and let’s run before the mob thugs attack!” Delta screams.

Then a tiny object whizzes past my face.


“What was that?” I ask.

“A bullet. Let’s GO!”

I hop off the stage and look behind me.

Dozens of men armed with strange-looking weapons are in hot pursuit.