Chapter 242Merry Mirth

The main hall, the one I would probably be fighting in, was large and almost round. There were no catwalks here, which was all the better. It appeared like some big machinery was removed for scrap or something. But there was hardly any trace of it, save perhaps a few holes in the ground where bolts must have been.

"Kai, do you know what they made here."

He grinned. "You'll never guess."

"Something dangerous?"

He shook his head. "No. Well, not physically dangerous in any way, mostly."

I had no idea. "What then?"

He smiled. "Paper."

I looked around and closed my eyes, trying to imagine the machines that went into making paper. If I was honest, I didn't know all that much about the process. I remember something like wood being pulped into a sort of thick mash with water, then squashed and dried. But machines for it? Wouldn't they need connections to all kinds of things, like pipes for water and hot air, lines for electricity.

Kai answered my unspoken question. "I read up on this place a long time ago, it went bankrupt, everything in here was scrapped to pay for debts. It wasn't even that the factory was doing badly, but it just went bankrupt because of the people responsible."

I shrugged. "Well, they've made a nice arena for us."

I looked up and noticed the roof was in fact very high. It would be very hard for them to reach it if they were in distress. In fact I wasn't sure I could jump high enough without the help of gliding.

There were windows in the roof, but they weren't exactly as I expected them to be. Instead of horizontal, the roof was a sort of saw-shape with the windows on the vertical slopes. Someone couldn't jump out here, but they could glide out.

Perfect.

The nine weren't here yet. I wondered briefly if they would come at all. But I knew they would, they couldn't resist an open challenge.

I looked at my own clothes, they were still the same plain skirt, shirt and coat in white. After this, I promised myself, I would buy some color. Preferably bright and cheerful ones. Even if I was walking in the dark most of the time, that was no reason to look like a ghost.

Even if I was a very cute ghost.

My giggle echoed in the large hall.

Khuna frowned. "Why are you giggling, Amy? Are you enjoying this?"

I shook my head. "No, I just had a completely silly thought. I should buy some color."

Khuna smiled. "Yes, you really should. You look like a ghost right now."

Valerie joined her. "She's right you know. White looked good on you, but you're much more experienced now. More color, and not just one."

I laughed at them. "Alright alright. I'll buy new clothes."

Kai frowned at us. "How can you think of clothes at a time like this."

The simple answer was that we didn't want to think of the coming horror, so we put our minds elsewhere for a moment. But of course I didn't want to give Kai the long answer. So I just smiled. "We're girls!"

Khuna, Valerie and I high-fived gaily making Kai smile regardless.

Another spoke. "Glad you're enjoying yourself."

The nine of them walked in as a group. All nine, good.

They gathered in a group in the center in front of us. They didn't look very well fed (strangely enough) except for the biggest of them. The one talking stood in front of the group and grinned evilly at us.

"Are you ready?"