Chapter 15:

Prelude to the first sanctioned fight

AGONY! The Omnipotent Deity's Dastardly Quest

“5 minutes,” I telepathically whispered to Ryuujin.

Talk about annoying. The shadows that geezer had mentioned were actually Gula’s Marauders. 5 minutes to be precise. While Gula himself didn’t seem to have any stakes in the succession race, he certainly had one of the largest impacts on it. I imagine he was coerced by Avarice to referee this with the promise of a free meal.

This meant I’d need to be careful not to go too overboard.

“Our mission is simple. We must traverse Italy to find the key to the ring box. Naturally, this won’t guarantee our victory, but it will help,” Ramona stated.

“Couldn’t we just steal it from someone?” Ryuujin asked.

“I imagine that’s someone else’s plan. Therefore, we will find the key, then crush the attackers when they appear.”

“This is an announcement. All bosses are to make their way to the Colosseum. You are to come only with no more than 1 guard and fighter. Failure to arrive within the hour shall result in disqualification,” Ricardo’s voice rang out.

Ramona visibly grew frustrated. Sure, I could just tell her what to do, even without the Marauders finding out, but I had the feeling the other Omni-Deities were supervising this spectacle considering they were betting on who would win it. While I knew exactly how I was going to win, I didn't want anyone else to catch wind of my plan. I also didn't want OG, one of the more powerful Omni-Deities to intervene in order to make everything "fair".  Well, I guess I’ll give Mr. Grandmaster what he wants. Cheating in chess is a pain in the ass to pull off after all, but it's possible for me.

I walked up to Honoka and Zeno and patted them on the back.

“Hmm, I can’t allow that. Honoka and Zeno are too strong to go off on the mission with you. Therefore, Zeno and Honoka shall accompany me to the venue. The rest of you are to focus on the mission. Do not engage with someone above your level. Nor are you permitted from just going off and doing your own thing. That is an order,” Ramona stated.

Looks like she got the message. Honoka and Zeno set off with Ramona, while Sakura was given command of the retrieval mission.

“The intel we received indicates that a coin is within the Trevi Fountain. This coin is said to be key to the retrieval of the key. Considering there’s usually tight security, I imagine this is to test how I handle the authorities. Once you identify the target, have Alonzo deal with them. If anything goes amiss, I expect you to adjust accordingly,” Ramona ordered via the phone.

“Yes Madam!” Sakura affirmed.


As Ramona walked to the venue, she ran into Penelope.

“All alone? A woman like you would get mugged in seconds,” Ramona jibbed as she passed by.

“You are a fake. You look younger than me and I’m only 30. Who are you!?” Penelope growled.

“The blood tests should tell you. I AM Ramona Panini,” Ramona answered without even turning back.

“I can sense the presence of 4 hostile forces. I assume that maiden’s warriors are within hiding,” Honoka whispered.

“Yes. She’s clearly using herself as bait. An obvious trap.”

“Wait how did you sense em?” Zeno asked.

“By heat. Infrared as you call it,” Honoka answered.

“Maybe use your wind to be more useful,” Ramona growled.


The trio reached the Colosseum with no problems.

“Now then, who do you wish to enter for this? Keep in mind, should your fighter lose, they will be barred from aiding you further in the succession. You are only allowed to field a fighter that’s already won after everyone else has gone, or if there is no one else on your side capable of fighting,” Ricardo stated.

“Dammit. That’s why her minions were hidden. She probably wanted to see who I’d bring with me, while preventing me from seeing her hand,” Ramona thought.

She would certainly need to make a choice, however, that’s why I goaded her towards bringing Honoka and Zeno with her. Since I couldn’t sense any opponents that were on a higher plane of existence than her, it meant all she had to worry about were the foes around her level.

Of course, there was also the chance that Ramona’s opponents would field their weakest members for the initial round, meaning it would be better to field Zeno so that he could eke out a win.

“I will enter Honoka,” Ramona affirmed.

This was by far the best choice. It would make things harder for some of the weaker members, but at least it would guarantee a win.

Matteo then entered followed by a large man in a tengu mask, and an average sized man clad in knight’s armor.

“Entering the Shibawara girl? Unfortunately, your assured victory will be cut short,” Matteo thought as he entered the large man as his combatant.

Honoka licked her lips as she gazed at the large man.

“Sooner than expected. I shall slay thee mercilessly,” she thought.

Ramona took her seat as Zeno stood behind her.

“So, you can’t hold your own?” Francis growled.

“Not everyone is as strong as you dear Francis,” Matteo stated as he walked in with his guard.

“Even though we are not power holders, that doesn’t mean we can’t build up our strength and combat skills.”

“I do agree with Francis on that point. A boss should not be weak, both mentally and physically,” Penelope stated as she entered alone.

“Our guards are not required to be by our side during the match. They may sit or stand anywhere within the Colosseum until the match is over,” Alana stated as she entered.

Zeno and the knight were the only guards that had stuck with their bosses. As Zeno surveyed the surrounding area, he spotted Ouga smirking on the other side of the Colosseum.

“Ouga’s here,” Zeno whispered to Ramona as he gritted his teeth.

“Damn, I don’t know who he’s with, but maybe it’s Penelope considering Ouga’s one of the few people outside my group that knows who I am,” Ramona thought.

Honoka and the large man in the tengu mask were the first to enter.

“Seems like one of our strongest will be settling things first,” Matteo snickered.

Honoka smiled as she stared down the man.

“You betrayed me, and our family. Doust your bloodlust run that deep!?” the large man growled.

“Nay, father! I simply found a worthy master that wishes to let me slay. He hast bested me, and I hast sworn my life to him,” Honoka smiled.