Chapter 128:

A Beauideal Concert-Match 2

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

“I didn’t think it would look like this?” Gwyn said as he and the others shuffled into their arena seats. Harlan was on his left, and Rheba sat on his right. The building design and layout were best described as looking eerily similar to a sports arena on earth. It was an indoor space with an ovular shape and stadium-style folding chairs. At the center, the arena was an open, flat plane. A raised platform was in the center that was shaped like an ‘Ⅰ.’

Lights poured down on the platform so intensely that the crowd around it might have been shrouded in darkness if not for the many blue and red glowsticks that each held in their hands.

Rheba, of course, had insisted that each of them buy an expensive glowing device from the vendors in the halls before entering the seating area. She, Gwyn, and Harlan held bright blue glowsticks in their hands.

“What did you think it would look like?” Rheba asked Gwyn.

“I don’t know, more like a stage with seating on one side. And more speakers on stage, I guess,” he replied.

“Gwyn, I think you might-” Harlan began to say something to the Nonpareil, but a sudden shout from the crowd drowned her out.

On the stage, an announcer had come to stand in the middle of the ‘Ⅰ.’ He wore what looked to Gwyn like a cross between a referee outfit and a clown outfit.

“Welcome all of you lovely people!” the announcer shouted. The sounds reverberated down across the audience from hidden speakers on the ceiling. The crowd roared and shook their glowsticks in response. Rheba joined in, and—to Gwyn’s surprise—Harlan happily joined in with the rest of the venue.

“I know you’re not here for me!” the announcer happily continued; the crowd laughed along with him, “So, without further ado! Up first, we have the ever lovely, ever blue, Kitten!” The announcer gestured to one end of the arena. From open doors, the beauideal emerged.

She wore a dazzling blue dress that seemed to sparkle in the light as she walked. It had a short skirt and open shoulders. An equally blue Needaimus was bonded to her arm.

The beauideal, Kitten, was a Netzian. She stood slightly taller than an average human and had pointed grey ears on top of matching hair and a grey tail that danced behind her as she walked onto the platform. Other than Bentalousian ears and tail, she looked like an average human.

“How are you doing today, Kitten?” the announcer asked.

“I’m doing wonderful today! Thanks for asking!” she spoke in a high, cheerful, and chipper voice.

“Do you have kittens in this world?” Gwyn asked Harlan.

“It’s something from Netzian lore; supposedly, it’s an adorable creature,” the scaly Zenotote explained.

“Well, I’m glad to hear that!” the announcer continued, “but will it stay wonderful with your opponent today! The fiery and always fierce Scarlet Red!”

More shouts echoed from the arena as the next beauideal entered the arena. She was a ruby red Aqueenian with long silver hair and deep blue eyes. Her dress was a lacy white dress which was short in the front and long in the back. A blue Needaimus was bonded to her arm.

“Well, Scarlet, how are you today!” the announcer asked.

“Why the [bleep] do you care!” she snapped at him. An audible beep censored her foul language.

“Oh, Scarlet, you should watch your language,” the announcer said with a laugh. The rest of the crowd laughed along.

“So, is this like a battle of the bands sort of thing?” Gwyn whispered to his companions.

“Yes, they should start fighting very soon!” Rheba replied. Gwyn was growing concerned with what he had agreed to enter.

“Fighting?” he repeated.

“Don’t worry,” Harlan added, “It’s all a performance.”

Several of the crowd around her began to berate the Zenotote scientist.

“All a performance; I’ve never heard something so ridiculous.”

“Yeah, right, a fake fan here!”

“Why would you even come here!”

“I bet you’re just lost!”

Harlan let her head hang, and Gwyn struggled to find a way to stop the harsh words thrown at her.

“Hey!” he shouted, and the small section around them turned to look. He racked his brain for the next thing to say. Fortunately for Gwyn, Rheba stood up and glared at the berating crowd members from her imposing height.

“The concert-match is about to begin. Keep quiet,” the Bentulousian warrior snapped at them. They quickly fell in line.

As Rheba sat down, Harlan looked up at her.

“Th- Thanks,” she slowly said. It pained the scientist to thank any Bentulousian.

“That wasn’t for your benefit,” Rheba said without turning to Harlan.

Gwyn recalled Odell explaining how beauideal fans were often stereotyped as extreme, overbearing, and a little on the strange side. He was beginning to see it.

On stage, the conversation between the beauideals had turned quite lively.

“You think you so [bleep] cute, don’t you!” Scarlet was shouting and pointing at Kitten. The pointed ear Netzian simply smiled.

“Oh, Scarlet, you always have something negative to say. Can’t you try to be more positive!” Kitten replied to the ruby red Aqueenian.

“[bleep] [bleep] [bleep] you [bleep] and [bleep],” the Aqueenian replied as her face grew redder.

Kitten, and the crowd with her, gasped. Gwyn looked around, confused as the bleeps prevented anyone, not on stage from hearing. Rheba and Harlan didn’t seem to mind as the show went on. The announcer made an awkward laugh.

“Well, with that lively banter, I think it is time we got this concert-match underway!” he quickly backed up to the edge of the arena as each beauideal took a stance. Loud and exciting music began to fill the arena as the opponents locked eyes with one another. Two bright spotlights were set over each of them.

“♪Well, Scarlet, it seems we’re here again. To do battle, as rivals… or are we friends?♪”

Kitten sang along with the music. Gwyn’s mouth dropped; he was starting to figure out where the event was going.

“♪Friends! Ha, don’t make me laugh! If I saw you on the street, I’d deck you right in the face!♪”

Scarlet sang back.