Chapter 774: Promotion and Pray
Rome opened her eyes as the first ray of sunlight fell on the Boston Ivy on the apartment’s balcony.
More and more people emerged from their residences, especially slaves and civilians with relatively low social status. They were the ones who woke up the earliest and started to work hard in the morning to make a living.
One could hear the tinkering coming from the workshop. It was the coppersmith hammering the bottom of the pan. The deafening noise had also awakened the neighbors next door. However, everyone was used to a lifestyle like this. They would wake up and scold the coppersmith at the same time.
The slave girl walked down from the apartment with a clay pot, came to the enormous pot beside the wall, and poured her master’s urine into the larger pot. Not too long after that, someone wound send the collected urine to the laundry and dump it into a large tank filled with dirty clothes.
There, the laundromat slaves who had been waiting for a long time would jump into the tank and step on the dirty clothes that were soaked in urine. The laundromat’s business was so good that even the emperor wanted to tax urine.
After the slave girl finished pouring the urine, she rubbed her eyes and turned around to go upstairs. However, the next moment, she ran into a teenager who had been squatting by the wall earlier. And the slave girl did not notice him. So, she quickly apologized.
However, the young man did not respond. At that time, he focussed his attention on drawing two little people on the wall. Judging by the weapons and armor on them, they were murmillo and retatrius. And the boy wrote down their names under his drawing—Bach and Rufus.
In just a few strokes, Bach and Rufus’s image were drawn onto the wall.
A short paragraph accompanied the drawing:
[From June 17th to 19th, Victor Arena will be presenting you with wonderful duel performances for three consecutive days. In addition to the gladiators you are familiar with, Habitus, Nasica the Bone Shatterer, and Rufus the Black Sickle would fight the newcomer Bach. There will also be exciting duels between beasts. Equipped with awnings, the lower stands are sprayed with perfume, and everyone present will be given a small gift. This is going to be your first choice for cooling off and relaxing.]
After finishing the last stroke, the boy took two steps back to admire his masterpiece. There was a smile on his face. And he finally noticed the slave girl that was standing beside him and looking at his drawing. When the sunlight fell on the latter’s eyebrows, it became golden.
The boy then stretched out his hand and caressed the slave girl’s face. Seeing that the latter showing a shy look, he whistled, laughed, and ran down the apartment while holding the dye and paintbrush.
He was not the only painter who was promoting the new performance of the Victor Arena. In fact, many similar advertisements were being painted on almost every wall in Rome. Other than gladiator performance advertisements, there were also women who promoted themselves and claimed that they could help lonely men solve their problems. Lovey-dovey words were exchanged between young couples, ruthless words from the creditors, and accusations dedicated to men who broke women’s hearts…
The walls of these houses, public buildings, and even the tombstones in the cemetery were the billboards of that era. The information on them was complex and complicated. Other than that, there were also some men who walked around the streets and alleys to distribute the program list. With the advertisements painted on the wall and the program list distribution, the gladiatorial show’s promotion was considered done.
The people interested in going to watch the show could get all the information about it in advance. All that left was whether they were willing to pay for the entrance fees. Since entertainment was lacking in Roman, a gladiatorial show was as attractive as S9.
On the other hand, gladiators selected to join the battle were also making their final preparations.
Varo and Zhang Heng were doing some coordinated training as well. The previous fifty-day special training was aimed at preparing them for individual battles. As for the tag-team battle, training a little would prove beneficial.
This was why all the newcomers felt that they were getting unlucky. Except for the Nasika group, even the less powerful groups were trained for a battle like this as well. And Zhang Heng and Varo had to start from scratch.
Varo saw Nasika on the training ground. The latter looked stronger than Bach, his arms were almost as thick as Varo’s thighs, and his body was extremely muscular. His profession was a secutor. This was a profession similar to the murmillo, falling under the heavy-duty gladiator category. Usually, they were equipped with a sword, a huge rectangular shield, and half-body armor.
Varo saw that Nasika had used his rectangular shield to knock out his training partner at the training ground, causing the latter to break two of his ribs.
“Now I finally know how he gets his nickname… I don’t want to face this guy in the arena,” said Varo to Zhang Heng beside him.
However, Nasika did not seem to think so. When training on the same grounds, he would always make one or two provocative moves against Varo and Zhang Heng from time to time. When Varo saw that someone was provoking Bach as well, his mood finally improved a little bit.
This was actually a kind of tradition in the gladiator school. The veteran gladiator would always provoke the newcomers before their first battle, and the gladiators would usually pray the night before the battle. Although gladiator schools did not mandate that gladiators believe in a certain god, most gladiators would choose to believe in Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance. A small number of people also worshipped Victoria, the goddess of victory, or Mars, the god of war. As for the Germanic like Bach, they believed in their tribal gods.
Varo noticed that Zhang Heng did not pray. So, he asked curiously, “In your county…Is there no god for you to worship?”
“Yes, there is. But I don’t think I need to pray,” Zhang Heng told the truth. In fact, he did not mind worshipping Nemesis, the goddess of revenge. However, he was not a potential core member of the Balance Blade. Even if he was a little unimpressed with the Balance Blade’s idealism, he still had to pay his respects to their god Kreis, the goddess of murder and assassination. It would be inappropriate if he worshipped other gods.
“I like your sense of humor. I don’t feel nervous when I am with you,” Varo said, putting the amulet engraved with Nemesis in his pocket respectfully, “During the battle tomorrow, I will do my best to protect your back.”
“You just need to protect your front.” Zhang Heng said.
“We will live,” replied Varo in a firm voice to cheer himself up.
“Don’t worry. We will win.”