Chapter 2: Fights
“Meh-Eh-Weoa, Meh-Eh-Zai, fight!” ordered one of the Aadaurot masters.
Meh-Eh-Weoa and Meh-Eh-Zai, the two smallest trainees, stepped into the circle that was deemed the fighting area. The two of them looked at each other as if they weren’t quite sure what to do. After a long pause, Meh-Eh-Weoa made the first move by running up to Meh-Eh-Zai and swiping at him with her front paw. Meh-Eh-Zai’s instant reaction was to flap his wings and flutter off the ground, making Meh-Eh-Weoa miss. Although Meh-Eh-Zai could not yet fly forward too well, he was fairly good at hovering.
Meh-Eh-Weoa, who had no wings, became quite frustrated at not being able to reach Meh-Eh-Zai. Since she wasn’t allowed to stand on her hind legs, she tried jumping. It was no good; she couldn’t jump high enough.
Then, Meh-Eh-Weoa had an idea. She could use her plant-like qualities to her advantage. Meh-Eh-Weoa focused on moving one of the many vines that grew out of her neck. She jumped, stretched out the vine, and wrapped it around Meh-Eh-Zai’s front leg, pulling him down.
At that moment, Meh-Eh-Zai’s wings became too tired to flap any longer. His wings gave out as Meh-Eh-Weoa pulled at his front leg. This led to Meh-Eh-Zai falling down on top of Meh-Eh-Weoa. Although Meh-Eh-Zai was quite tired, he had successfully pinned down Meh-Eh-Weoa, and therefore, he won the fight.
Meh-Eh-Zai stumbled out of the circle as Meh-Eh-Weoa exited with her head and tail drooped. She sat herself down next to Meh-Eh-Au, and without looking up, she whimpered, “I lost.”
Meh-Eh-Au, feeling shy again, tried his best to find the right words to console Meh-Eh-Weoa.
“You didn’t fail,” he said. “That was just one fight. You’ll win others.”
“You really think so?” Meh-Eh-Weoa asked.
“Sure,” said Meh-Eh-Au. “I’ve never seen you do that trick with your vines, before. Maybe that’ll help you in other fights.”
“Thank you, Meh-Eh-Au,” said Meh-Eh-Weoa.
Meh-Eh-Weoa looked up at her friend and tried to mimic an Aadaurot smile by bearing her teeth. Suddenly, Meh-Eh-Au felt very uncomfortable, and his face—one of the few hairless parts of his body—turned from grey-brown to deep red.
“Meh-Eh-Au, Meh-Eh-Eh, fight!” Master Saesh called out.
Meh-Eh-Au tried his best to compose himself as he entered the circle. Even though he was a little disoriented because of both Meh-Eh-Weoa and the strange sleep he had earlier on, Meh-Eh-Au was feeling lucky. He had lost too many fights before, and he didn’t want to lose another.
A nice smack in the face brought Meh-Eh-Au to his senses. Meh-Eh-Eh was using the ball on the end of her tail as a club. With her long, blue body and even longer tail Meh-Eh-Eh certainly had the advantage, range-wise. Meh-Eh-Au had to think and act quickly to overcome it.
Meh-Eh-Eh swung her tail once again, but Meh-Eh-Au dodged. He ran up to Meh-Eh-Eh as she tried to whip him a third time, and he delivered a strong kick with his back legs that sent Meh-Eh-Eh spinning over lengthwise.
As Meh-Eh-Eh recovered from the blow, she shot spurts of water out of the ball on her tail. Meh-Eh-Au managed to dodge most of the spurts, lunge at Meh-Eh-Eh, and bite her. Meh-Eh-Eh’s reflex was to bop Meh-Eh-Au on the head with her tail. Wincing, Meh-Eh-Au let go.
For a moment, the two Outsiders stared each other down and contemplated their next moves. Both had taken damage, and the next attack could decide the winner. Then, Meh-Eh-Eh charged. Not quite sure what to do, Meh-Eh-Au charged as well. The two collided head-on.
Meh-Eh-Au shut his eyes and winced again, but when he opened them, he saw Meh-Eh-Eh flat on her back with her short legs twitching in the air. She slowly righted herself only to fall over once again.
“So dizzy,” she groaned.
Meh-Eh-Au knew that he had the advantage now, but in the back of his mind, he knew Meh-Eh-Eh was suffering and didn’t want to hurt her anymore. He decided to gently place his front paw on her side. Though he didn’t apply much pressure, this was still considered to be pinning his opponent. Meh-Eh-Au had won the fight.
Meh-Eh-Weoa gave a squeal of enthusiasm. She was proud of her companion. To her, if anyone deserved to win anything, it would be Meh-Eh-Au.
Meh-Eh-Au triumphantly took his place with the trainees who were resting from fights. Aside from Meh-Eh-Weoa, the others took no notice of him.
“Meh-Eh-Vah, Meh-Eh-Sah, fight!” called out one of the Aadaurot masters.
Meh-Eh-Vah gulped as Meh-Eh-Sah growled to intimidate his opponent. It was as if the fight were decided before it began.
Meh-Eh-Sah sat down within the fighting circle. He would let Meh-Eh-Vah make the first move. Meh-Eh-Vah, however, just shivered in fear.
“What are you waiting for?” bellowed Meh-Eh-Sah to his cowering insectoid opponent.
Drawing up his courage, Meh-Eh-Vah buzzed his wings and zipped toward Meh-Eh-Sah. Meh-Eh-Sah stood up and bared his teeth, ready to attack. Meh-Eh-Vah swung out one of his front legs in preparation to swipe Meh-Eh-Sah with his leg’s bladed tip. Meh-Eh-Sah was ready to intercept when Meh-Eh-Vah spiked upward and then nosedived, forcefully colliding against a startled Meh-Eh-Sah’s back.
The trainees who were watching the battle stood with wide eyes and baited breath. They all wondered the same thing: Did Meh-Eh-Vah successfully pin Meh-Eh-Sah?
Meh-Eh-Sah’s expression turned from one of stun to rage as he shook Meh-Eh-Vah off his back. His throat rumbled, and he spat a fireball at Meh-Eh-Vah. The shot connected with one of Meh-Eh-Vah’s wings. As the insect-like trainee rolled around on the ground to put the fire out, Meh-Eh-Sah slapped his clawed foot onto Meh-Eh-Vah’s abdomen. Fearing the worst, Meh-Eh-Vah cried out, “I give!”
Meh-Eh-Sah trotted out of the circle with a toothy smile across his face. Meh-Eh-Vah’s master took the trainee aside to treat his wounds. Meh-Eh-Vah, like most of the trainees, would heal quickly and be ready to fight again soon.
Meh-Eh-Tiu and Meh-Eh-Kseh both stepped into the circle as they were ordered to fight. As soon as one of the Aadaurot masters gave the command, Meh-Eh-Tiu charged at Meh-Eh-Kseh, growling all the while. Thinking that this would be a good opportunity to use her beam attack, Meh-Eh-Kseh closed her eyes in a long blink, reopened them, and focused her gaze on Meh-Eh-Tiu. As Meh-Eh-Tiu rapidly came closer, Meh-Eh-Kseh fired the beams. At the last second, Meh-Eh-Tiu dodged with a barrel roll. What Meh-Eh-Kseh hit was merely ground.
Meh-Eh-Tiu righted himself swiftly after rolling over and lunged at Meh-Eh-Kseh, sinking his sharp teeth into her magenta tail feathers. With a squawk, Meh-Eh-Kseh flew upward, leaving some feathers behind in Meh-Eh-Tiu’s mouth. She promptly began dive-bombing Meh-Eh-Tiu, poking him with her beak now and again.
Although it seemed as though Meh-Eh-Kseh had the advantage, with each peck at Meh-Eh-Tiu, she felt a freezing, stinging sensation pulse through her body. Once the sensation became unbearable to Meh-Eh-Kseh, Meh-Eh-Tiu took the opportunity to pounce, successfully pinning her.
After Meh-Eh-Tiu was declared the winner, the two trainees left the circle. Meh-Eh-Kseh ruffled her feathers, still shivering, while Meh-Eh-Tiu began the annoying task of ridding his mouth of feathers.
Meh-Eh-Eh and Meh-Eh-Weoa were summoned once again to fight. As Meh-Eh-Weoa timidly stepped toward the circle, Meh-Eh-Au whispered to her, “Good luck.”
Meh-Eh-Weoa gazed at Meh-Eh-Au warmly, and Meh-Eh-Au found himself reflecting her expression. He didn’t feel any discomfort this time.
Meh-Eh-Au wasn’t exactly sure why he felt the way he did around Meh-Eh-Weoa. Perhaps it was because she was so small and fragile. Or maybe it was because she was the only one who would talk to him. It could also have been because she respected him even though he had beaten her in so many fights. Whatever the reason, Meh-Eh-Au never had felt this feeling around anyone else.
After being called, himself, to fight, Meh-Eh-Au hoped his luck would continue. This time, he was facing off with Meh-Eh-Vah. Meh-Eh-Au knew that Meh-Eh-Vah was stronger than Meh-Eh-Eh, and he had to keep reminding himself not to let that deter him.
Meh-Eh-Vah made the first move by scratching Meh-Eh-Au across the nose with a blade-tipped front leg. Whimpering, Meh-Eh-Au kicked him back, but not hard enough. Meh-Eh-Vah quickly shook off the weak blow and zipped forward at Meh-Eh-Au in a drill-like motion. Meh-Eh-Vah moved faster than Meh-Eh-Au could even think, and it was all he could do to scramble out of the way.
With a blurred mind, Meh-Eh-Au zigzagged through the circle trying to avoid Meh-Eh-Vah. Meh-Eh-Au reasoned that the only way to slow Meh-Eh-Vah down was to trip him. Shifting his weight to his front legs, Meh-Eh-Au swung his hind legs and tail at Meh-Eh-Vah, hitting the insectoid square in the face.
At that moment, Meh-Eh-Vah’s antennae pointed straight forward and lit up. He channeled electricity through them, giving Meh-Eh-Au an electric shock. The fight was over once Meh-Eh-Au started to howl for mercy from the pain. Meh-Eh-Vah was the winner. Meh-Eh-Au had failed.
Meh-Eh-Au slumped down next to Meh-Eh-Weoa. Meh-Eh-Weoa could tell by the discouraged look on his face that Meh-Eh-Au’s confidence as well as his body had taken a beating.
“I think you did a fine job,” Meh-Eh-Weoa commented in an attempt to lighten the mood.
“Thank you,” Meh-Eh-Au said weakly. “You’re the only one who does.”