Chapter 22:

The Undaunted

Adventures of Zeleon

Following Leon's victory over Salandra, there was an increased amount of electricity amongst the entirety of the Komodron population. It was official, Leon was going to challenge Varius and attempt to blemish his insane undefeated record. The first brave enough to do so in over a year.

Both Serena and Courtney showed up, sitting amongst the crowd, eager to see just how much Leon has improved in the past month.

The crowd was standing way up at the top just to see Varius in an actual match.

The two competitors were already standing across from each other. Leon was giving up a lot of size, even after putting on nine pounds of muscle, he weighed almost a hundred pounds less and stood nine inches shorter than the much larger Varius.

In spite of the mismatches, the experience gap, and the daunting task of beating the undefeated. Leon stood primed and ready, more focused than ever. Varius stood tall with his signature axe in hand, he had just as much to lose. His undefeated reputation going down to an Earth human? In his eyes that would be embarrassing, even though he loves Leon's spirit.

The Elder uttered the same words as before.

"Competitors, are you ready?!"

Varius was the first to respond. "Yes."

Leon had no snarky comment or anything to fire the crowd up. He wasn't caught up in the moment, he only nodded in response without taking a glance off his opponent.

Courtney looked to Serena with a slight bit of concern. "Do you think he has a shot? Varius hasn't been beaten by a single Komodron. Even by some of the now older ones who were powerful in their heyday."

Serena responded calmly as she normally does. "With Leon you never know what you'll get. He went toe to toe with Maeva and he defeated Salandra. There's no telling what will or won't happen. But he looks very serious, he won't even crack a smile, that should make Varius pay real close attention."

"Let the match begin!"

The two stood looking at each other in silence, not making a move even after the word go. Leon was the first to blink, which gave Varius purpose to move first. He covered ten feet in three strides, swinging the two sided curved axe down on him.

Leon reacted with a swift roll across the ground getting behind Varius with ease. There was a reason he was able to do so, he was allowed to. He got thrashed by Varius' large tail straight in his gut. Even with his armor, the wind got knocked out of him anyways, as he got sent back several feet, sliding across the ground several more.

"Well, so much for that idea. He just knocked me on my ass like it was nothing. That tail of his really hurts, that must be what it feels like to take a swipe from Godzilla."

Leon slowly made it back to his feet, obviously still reeling from that massive hit. By this point, Varius had already begun his charge. He covered a lot of ground but due to his size he wasn't exceptionally fast. Leon shook the cobwebs off and moved fast to Varius' left side, hoping to get the advantage by catching him off guard on his off hand side.

Varius shifted his body making his tail an obstacle again; he swung it at Leon once more, but he blocked it bluntly with his sword but it still pushed him back in range of the axe being swung at him again. He narrowly moved back from it, actually feeling the air being cut directly in front of him as this strike broke the ground beneath them.

Leon was sweating after that near match ending blow, the whole crowd gasped as well. It took a moment for him to realize, but the strike actually created a massive dust cloud around him. Varius blinked from the rocks flying at him from the strike. This was Leon's possible lone golden opportunity to do something.

He moved within the small space of the cloud, before charging with a full head of steam and jumped, slashing upwards. Varius' heavily armored arm blocked the initial strike, but Leon followed through back downwards, forcing him to block with his weapon while being partially blinded.

Still, Leon landed on the ground continuing his onslaught as he struck Varius in his gut using the blunt center to at least bruise a lower rib. Varius roared afterwards telling that he definitely felt something. Leon took advantage again and smashed the broad side of the blade into the same spot. He roared again but now he wasn't blinded anymore, he quickly smacked Leon off to the side with his axe, making him crash into the arena wall.

The crowd cheered once again, as the match grew more and more intense. Varius looked to be in discomfort, Leon's free shots obviously did something but it wasn't clear as to what exactly.

"I wasn't expecting that out of him. Now I see why he beat Salandra, he's very opportunistic. Once he finds a slight or major opening he pounds you no matter the risk. He hit my soft flesh too, there's something bruised or cracked."

Leon peeled himself off the wall as he took a deep breath just to catch it again. Every single large blow sends him flying and leaves him completely breathless. He can hardly move, unable to capitalize on Varius' injury.

Above, Courtney watched and could hardly stay settled. "They're really hurting each other right now, is this really okay?"

Serena could only shake her head. "It's hard for everyone to watch Courtney. But I had a feeling these two were going to be throwing haymakers at each other. Leon has to, and Varius needs to in order to keep Leon down."

"I hope they're okay…"

"I hope so too, Courtney."

Leon fought through his pain and pressed the issue with Varius, charging at him and making their first clash of weapons since the match began. Soon after came a deadlock, making Leon have to exert everything he had in his body. Even with his strengthened state on Zeleon, Varius is just that much more physically imposing. Leon dug his feet deep and widened his base, but was ultimately thrown onto his back in the middle of the arena.

He got back up immediately, even though he was panting from the blows he'd taken. "I'm not going down yet Varius, I haven't even tasted my own blood yet!" His words carried with the determination within them.

"Now those are the words of a warrior! Bring your best then Leon, show me something I haven't seen out of you, treat this like its life or death!" The fiery words sent back made the crowd roar louder than they have been previously.

Leon switched to his left hand, something he hasn't done previously. Making Varius really have to watch him, as he's more strictly right handed or on occasions two handed with his weapons. Leon had the muscle movements down as well, moving towards his left primarily.

Varius missed with his axe as he passed by him, and Leon spun and successfully blocked the tail shot, before crashing into the massive Komodron's left side with the hilt of the blade.

He actually winced after this hit, Leon's targeting of the area softened him up a bit. But in spite of the pain he did something that Leon didn't expect. He used his size and quite literally flopped on him, crushing him under his weight. Leon would've yelled out having his body squished under Varius but again, the air was hardly there.

Rather than fully getting up, Varius got on all fours, apparently this was something he did rarely because there was silence amongst the crowd. The reaction again made it feel like a forgone conclusion similarly to how Salandra's move was.

As Leon refocused, he realized Varius was on all fours and scrambled back as quickly as he could. "What the actual fuck?!" His words escaped his lips the moment they came to mind. Varius smiled at him, looking like a komodo dragon that was as beefy as a saltwater crocodile. It was an intimidating sight to behold.

"Surprised, Leon?" Varius seemed more sure in his words than he had been the whole match.

Leon took a deep breath and reversed the grip on his broadsword. Varius was surprised, he almost laughed because the technique seemed ridiculous. "You can't use reverse grip on a broadsword Leon, that's highly ineffective. If this is your last bit of struggle, I must say I'm disappointed."

"If you're so confident that I can't do anything then come get me!" Leon stomped his foot gripping the blade tighter in his reverse grip.

Varius did as Leon requested and charged him, Leon jumped at just the right time and cleared Varius completely, as he touched ground the blade in his left hand worked as a shield in the grip against the Komodron's mighty tail, blocking it as he passed by. He dragged the point of the blade over his thick back armor without dealing a single cut until he sliced the right side of his face making him bleed in a single dash.

The taste of his own blood made his eyes focus into Leon's as he switched his grip back to normal once again. The crowd cheered for the two of them, the match had been going on for well over twenty minutes and both of them were looking spent.

Varius went after Leon on all fours again, and just as the underdog Earth human was about to jump and possibly push his blade to his throat after, the Komodron got back on two legs and made Leon get knocked off balance, tasting the ground below. Varius' tail again went to work, thumping down on Leon's back three times before he was crawling out to try to escape.

The Elder called the match immediately after seeing how defenseless Leon was. "Varius is still undaunted, with an unprecedented 50th victory!"

The crowd cheered, but Varius could hardly feel satisfied with having won the fight. It wasn't one he felt like he had to win, it was one he felt like he couldn't allow himself to lose.

Leon stopped moving which was his primary concern, but before he could even get close to him, Courtney was there in a heartbeat making sure he was ok.

"Leon! Leon! Are you conscious?!" She was in full panic mode unsure of what his condition was and why he wasn't moving.

"I'm fine. I'm beat up and bruised. But I'm fine."

His words almost sounded cold, there was no emotion in them.

"Can you move?"


"Don't scare me by not moving then! I thought you were unconscious or something!"

"I...just feel defeated. I lost against another premier warrior again. I didn't feel like getting back up after it was called."

His words were honest, and Courtney respected them despite how out of line she believes he acted.

Varius turned around as the blood from the gash Leon put on him was still dripping.

"Leon, now you know how Salandra felt the other day. But, what she did was unsportsmanlike, she left with her back turned to you. At least do me the honor of getting up and raising your arm."

Leon sighed, as he slowly got to his feet Courtney shadowed him to make sure he didn't fall. But, under his own power Leon made it to Varius' side and he raised his arm, the crowd still cheering for him in spite of his loss.

"Never forget this young one who stayed with us, failing to catch anything on a hunt but still tried his damndest, trained into the late hours of the night, ate with us, shared stories with us, and gave us two fights that we'll remember in our hearts for many years to come! Welcome him as he were our own, whether he achieves the title of Guardian or not. Remember Leon Atkins!!"

Varius winced using that much of his voice with his damaged ribs but it didn't matter to him. What mattered more is that Leon had earned his respect and expected his people to treat him with that same respect.

"Even in a loss there's much to gain. Take those words with you, because on this day they hold true. You are our friend now Leon. Whether you want to admit it, or whether you continue your lone wolf ways. You are our friend." With that Varius left the arena to likely go get treated.

Leon took a deep breath, before shouting out loud. "I'll kick your ass next time, Varius!" The Komodron heard him and smiled to himself. "You almost did this time."

Courtney kept close as Leon walked out with his fist in the air. "I don't get how you can walk after all of that."

"What are you talk-ack!" Leon's body broke down almost instantly as Courtney dipped under his arm and helped him walk.

"You really are hurting aren't you? were just going to hide it?"

Serena was waiting for them on the exit to the tunnel heading out. "You expect anything less than that Courtney? He's borderline insane."

"Ugh...I suppose you're right. We need to get him into a nuthouse and rehabilitate him."

"Hey hey! What the hell is that?! I'm not going to a nuthouse!"

"That's a good idea, and maybe we keep him drugged up a bit too."

"Do I not have a say in this?!!"

The ladies spoke in unison. "No!"

"I hate you both sometimes."

They went home that evening after the insane fight, the month of Komodron living had ended. But, it left an impression on Leon that'll last his lifetime.