——Chapter 15: Rising Road (2)——
In front of the Roman amphitheater, a huge crowd was gathered.
It was usually like this on match days, but recently the heat had become even hotter.
The Colosseum, the representative building of Rome, was not yet built at this time, so gladiator fights took place in a smaller amphitheater.
Perhaps because of this, there were several people who expressed their anger at not being able to watch the ever-growing gladiator fights.
Marcus looked at them with delight because it was proof that the idea he had drawn was working well.
The sound of shouts from inside the arena resonated like thunder.
It's heating up.”
“Because it is what the young master envisioned, of course, it has no choice but to succeed.”
“It's surprising that it's at this level, even though it's still in the early stage.”
Danae and Septimus, who now clung to each other like Marcus' personal secretaries, also expressed their feelings one by one.
As Marcus was walking while exchanging words with the two, he felt a slight shock from behind.
The young girl who was jumping up and running, ran into Marcus and fell down.
Tears welled up in the eyes of the girl who fell on her butt.
Are you okay?”
The one who was at fault was the girl, but Marcus comforted her and lifted her up.
The crying girl who looked more than one or two years younger than Danae brushed off her dirty tunica while blushing, and wiped away tears, and bowed her head in a polite voice that was not expected from her age.
I was so excited that I was rude.”
“No, that's okay.
But from now on, even if you feel excited, look ahead while running.”
Thank you for forgiving me.”
The girl bowed her head once more.
Then, with a calm step, she moved to her slave who was running away in despair.
Seeing the distant figure from behind, Marcus felt a strange premonition.
He didn't know why, but he felt like he will run into that kid again somewhere.
As the girl disappeared into the distance, Danae patted Marcus on the back, and puffed out her cheeks.
“This is why children are a problem.
They run around just because they are a little excited.”
“You're just a kid too, hahaha.
But isn't that kid a little bit more mature than her age? Even if her clothes aren't flashy, she is probably from a noble family..”
But I had enough of that level of immaturity when I was back in my hometown.”
“What are you going to do with a kid whose name you don't even know, burning your rivalry?”
Marcus smiled and said while patting Danae on the shoulder.
Shortly after the light disturbance subsided, a fat middle-aged man hurriedly came out of the amphitheater.
Looking around, he spotted Marcus and ran at full speed to greet him with bated breath.
“I'm really sorry to have kept you waiting.
I am Cornelio, who was hired as an Aoktor (promoter) this time.”
“Nice to meet you.
I didn't wait too long, so don't mind.
Shall we listen to the report first?”
First of all, to maximize the individuality of each gladiator, we are creating a story with appropriate fleshing.
And the fact that the gladiator's verbal battles are posted outside the arena before the match is very well received.
Classified into 3 to 4 weight classes and ranked Sharing is still in progress.”
What about Spartacus?”
“The match is just about to start anyway.
Would you like to go in and see it for yourself?”
Cornelio ushered Marcus to the VIP table prepared in advance.
Just in time, Spartacus was entering the arena.
It seemed like he had become a different person than when Marcus saw him in Capua.
The splendor of the outfit was different from before.
The silver guards on his wrists shone dazzlingly in the sunlight.
“A warrior who took the stage again thanks to the support of the crowd! Spartacus! As previously announced, this man's ambition is to achieve 100 victories, an unprecedented record in gladiator history! How long will this man's challenge last! “
Spartacus raised his hand and let out a loud roar.
“Wow!” A shout of laughter covers the area.
The presenter then introduced the other party.
“A strong Germanic gladiator, Atari, entered the arena brandishing an ornate scabbard.”
Marcus watched the match with a relaxed mind.
This was a thoroughly calculated stage.
The direction of the match, the roles played by the gladiators, and the situation create tension.
Atari, the opponent of the match, and the audience would not have guessed.
All circumstances could not escape calculation.
“Now! Who will be the winner of this confrontation!”
The presenter's voice became the signal for the opening of the war.
Atari and Spartacus charged at each other simultaneously.
Both seemed to have no regard for defense.
Atari's sword extended out with a sharp light.
Spartacus lightly twisted his body and deflected the bloody blade.
He held out his sword with one hand.
The sound of cutting through the air was a formidable threat.
The two swords collided in the air.
Unable to overcome the shock, Atari's body was pushed back.
Even though he was given a sword wielded with one hand, the difference in strength was evident.
For a moment, a look of bewilderment flashed across his face covered with his shaggy beard.
Still, Atari was a veteran who had won close to ten victories in Rome, which was said to be the highest level.
Acknowledging his lack of skills, he brought out all his abilities to the bottom without losing his cool.
The audience's exclamation burst out with just that movement that properly shed Spartacus's onslaught.
Finally, Spartacus sword bit Atari's waist.
As a stream of blood embroidered the floor, the cheering of the audience reached its climax.
In the meantime, several exquisite counterattacks followed.
Spartacus, who seemed to be overwhelmed, also faced a crisis, but came out exquisitely.
All as planned in advance.
Just at the moment when the enthusiasm of the audience reached madness, Spartacus struck the decisive blow.
A single sword that extends from the collarbone to the abdomen.
Atari's body collapsed as blood spurted out from the sword strike.
It wasn't deep enough to take a life, but it was enough to finish the fight.
As Spartacus raised his sword, the fists of the spectators simultaneously soared into the sky.
“The strongest gladiator!”
Spartacus shouted in a loud voice that made the stadium reverberate.
“Those who want to take revenge, hone your skills and try again as much as you like!”
The sight of his bold declaration set fire to the hearts of many men.
There was no mention of executing the defeated.
Everyone in unison only praised the name of the victor, Spartacus.
“You have become very skilled.”
After the match, Spartacus returned to Marcus' escort as usual.
Since he was not a slave in the training camp, he was mostly by Marcus's side when not in competitions and training.
“I tried my best because they told me not to decide the match too easily.
I don't know if I did well.”
“That was great.
Your showdown in Capua was great, but there was no tension.
People get tired of repeating things like that, so this was just right.”
The first match left a strong impression with a landslide victory, and the second match was a thrilling victory.
It was going with the best flow.
“But isn't it because I don't show my full strength because I'm considerate of my opponents risking their lives?”
“With that kind of logic, you shouldn’t even try to take your opponent's life in the first place.
It's not important.”
“It's not good even for a loser to be slaughtered by an opponent with an overwhelming difference in skill in the first place.
Since there's no time to show off your skills, you won't be able to leave a good impression on the audience.”
Although Atari lost this time, he showed a wonderful counterattack even in adverse circumstances and showed an unyielding fighting spirit until he collapsed.
In fact, the audience did not boo him as a loser.
“You seem to have really great insight.
It's a question I'm feeling now, but weren't you afraid of me? You didn't know what I would do after being released from the gladiator training camp.”
“It's not that I didn't have insurance, I'm confident in my ability to see people.”
Spartacus was historically a person of character who did not indiscriminately kill even the hated Romans.
Marcus already knew this, but to Spartacus, it was just a surprise for his master's eyesight.
“I am truly grateful to you, Young master.
If I had stayed in Capua, I would have been consumed by anger and lost myself.”
“If you stay under someone like Batiatus, that's bound to happen.
Come to think of it, didn't you say you had a wife? Do you know where she was sold?”
In an instant, Spartacus' body stiffened as if he was struck by lightning.
Soon after, he lowered his head and shook his head with a face full of remorse.
“Unfortunately, I don't know.
I know that she was sold as a slave to Rome, but…”
“I'm not sure I can find it, but I can investigate if you want.
How about it, shall we proceed?”
Spartacus asked in disbelief.
“Can you really find…
“Don’t be too hopeful.
There will be many things to be prepared for.
Even if I investigate, I might not be able to find her, or you might just hear that she has already died.
And even if I find her, there’s a good chance she will not be the woman you remember.”
But even so, I want to find her.”
Spartacus answered immediately without the slightest hesitation.
Then he spoke in his usual trembling voice.
“Even if she's already dead, or even if she's turned into a plaything thing for a certain noble, even if she's scolded me for not being able to protect her…
I'm responsible for finding out her whereabouts.
Please, please help me find my wife.
please give her to me…”
Marcus nodded calmly.
It was not a request that he would not be able to grant if he was determined.
“Septimus, I don't care how much money you spend, so start the investigation today.
Spartacus tells Septimus the information about your wife.”
“Thank you! Thank you very much.
I will repay this kindness even at the cost of my life.”
Spartacus' eyes lit up.
Soon, a single tear flowed from his eyes.
If anyone knew the usual Spartacus, it was a look that could not be imagined for him.
Marcus deliberately averted his gaze, pretending not to see the strong man's tears.
It has been several years since Spartacus and his wife were brought to Rome.
If he thought about it coldly, the probability of finding a slave who was captured a long time ago in Thrace was low, with only information of appearance, age, and name.
He will have to hire a lot of people, so he will have to scatter quite a few silver coins.
However, this was enough to earn Spartacus' absolute loyalty.
Spartacus' character was such that from now on he will lay down his life for Marcus.
The possibility of being attacked and killed by someone was as if it had disappeared.
Returning to the mansion, Marcus washed away the day's fatigue by soaking in the private bath.
Rome had large public baths, but Marcus much preferred private baths.
The reason was simple.
This was because public baths in Rome were more unhygienic than expected.
It was easy to mistake the Romans for good hygiene because they always enjoyed taking a bath, but in this era, there was no scientific idea about hygiene.
They didn't change the water in the bath often, and they didn't wash their body before entering the bath, but after applying oil to their body, they went into the bath and washed their body.
In fact, for the Romans, the bathhouse was not just a place to wash one's body, but a kind of entertainment facility.
It was not to go there for only a bath, they too knew that it was dirty but they go to enjoy the place of socializing with all kinds of people.
Marcus later planned to check the hygiene of the public bath when he took office.
If he took good care of hygiene, the incidence of disease will be visibly reduced, and he could publicize it as an achievement.
But for now, since he could not go to the government post, he didn't have any intention to actively improve this problem.
Still, a bath was necessary, so as a last resort, the private bath was kept clean and used.
anyway, it's nice to soak in hot water.”
Marcus enjoyed a leisurely rest while being attended by slaves.
At first, he was awkward being waited on by female slaves, but now he's completely used to it.
'To be honest, I felt very good.'
Danae, who entered the bath, brought cold diluted wine and handed it to Marcus.
“Drink it, Young Master.
Wasn't it hard for you to follow me around the entire time? You can rest well since there is no work in the evening.”
Then I will take a rest thanks to you.”
She didn't want to back off, but smiled and added a word.
“Spartacus-nim seems to be very grateful.”
The relationship between a man and a woman is very mysterious.
Even though it must have been a long time, he remains with a more affectionate heart.”
“You're going to marry a wonderful woman who suits you someday, right? Ah, that might be a little difficult.”
Danae replied with a serious expression without a smile.
“I don't think there's anyone who would be a perfect match for you, Young master.
A person who is too perfect gets into trouble for many things.
It will always be a top-down marriage…”
The nonsense was taken so seriously that Marcus smiled and took a sip of his wine.
His face reflected in the longing was objectively quite handsome.
His height is also on the tall side for his age, so if he grows up like this, he will grow into a handsome man with thick lines.
Looking at his appearance alone, he was much more satisfied with his life than before.
“Anyway, it's a marriage…
I'll have to do it when I'm an adult.
I'll have to thoroughly check the conditions.”
Almost all marriages in this era were arranged marriages.
But an arranged marriage didn't mean they are unhappy.
There were many couples who had a happy married life even though they were arranged for political reasons.
Marcus would also marry in a form close to an arranged marriage, but he had the desire to have a happy married life.
“Is there already a family from where marriage talks come and go?”
“Well? I don't know but if it's my brother, maybe yes, but for me, probably not.
My reputation hasn't improved dramatically yet, though rumors are slowly circulating.”
But it will only be a matter of time before your true value is widely known.
Soon, Rome's most powerful families will scramble and covet for you.”
“Apart from that, I'll have to covet my bride.”
In fact, families worthy of marriage had already been sorted out.
Of course, those on the list were people who would be useful to Marcus in the distant future, not now.
'Well, because marriage is about mutual understanding.
Even if I offered to do it, I should keep in mind the possibility that they will refuse.'
Therefore, rather than thinking too much about one side, it was important to search for several candidates in case of an unexpected situation.
After all, Rome was monogamous.
If he didn't divorce, he can't take a new wife, so you had to be careful about marriage.
There was nothing more he can wish for if I meet someone who has the best conditions but also fits well with him personally.
The steam from the slowly rising bath mixed with Marcus' vision for the future, like the scent of wine.
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