Chapter 5: The Wandering Fighter, Rakkan

"Casper, please think this over." Trace said, following the Sphynx through the crowd, past all the commotion. Despite Tracks having such a small number of permanent residents, it could certainly become quite crowded on its busiest days. Which this so happened to be one; people were itching to see a good fight. "I don't want to sound harsh or anything, but Rakkan doesn't kill and he would absolutely kill you, accidentally, in one hit."

Casper, stopping for a moment, finding an area in the streets with less foot traffic, took a cigarette out of his pocket and lit it up. "I met a guy a few days ago, said he could predict people's death… Said we'd meet again in the future. So I'm kind of confident I'll survive." As dumb as that sounded to him. But it certainly made him feel smart.

"Uh huh… We have fortune tellers come through here, you know. I've hear predictions that failed to come true." Trace said, crossing her arms… Or arm, more like. "Alright then… If you don't believe me. Take off your shirt."

"What?" Casper replied back, dumbfounded as she was just moments ago. To be honest, that was just about the last thing he expected her to say.

"That was a bit forward, sorry… You don't have to. But just looking at you, I feel I could sneeze and you'd burst into pieces." She said, looking at Casper's scrawny build. The way his shirt hung off of him like a drape, or how his pants looked several sizes too big. "Thing is, Rakkan is very big and very strong, safe to say. He doesn't like to hold back either if he doesn't need to. Holding back makes a fight boring, as he says." With a cough, Trace had the need to add, "…But I know I cannot change your mind and I'm not your mom… Or even the leader around here. It's up to him in the end. So, just take some more time to consider not dying and all."

Taking his cigarette from his mouth, Casper nodded, with a grunt of acknowledgment. She wasn't wrong by any means. About his appearance being less than threatening or how holding back in a spectator fight could ruin it. He gave the Hyena a pat on the shoulder and a thumbs up with his free hand. "Hey, it'll be fine, I'll just meet him and see how things go, alright? Doesn't have to be a fight either does it?" His confidence didn't appear to have wavered at all, nor had his goal. Off, just a few meters away, there was a shack that people had gathered around, must be where he was staying, there was a lot of children too whose eyes shined with fascination; Casper was pretty sure he saw the little Wyvern girl he saw the other day among them. "I've faced a lot of challenges and fought a lot of people far stronger than me and came out on top. This is no different."

"Don't shoot him, please," Trace said, recalling the decent display of marksmanship that Casper was capable of.

"Don't assume things, please," He said, using the same tone she did, as if to mock her, "So he's in there, isn't he? Quite the celebrity here isn't he?"

Trace quietly cursed herself for making such a bold assumption, but she moved forward towards the shack. Just barely, through the windows, Casper would see the head of a lion sticking up. He must've been sitting on the floor. "He's been here before. Let's just say that a spectator fight is a great way to break up monotony… Also a good time to sell stuff if you're a merchant. I'd keep your wallet close to you" Trace grinned and brushed past a few bystanders, practically stepping over several kids, followed by Casper. "Don't worry, he knows me, him and I go back, so he'll listen to what I have to say.

Soon, they were inside.

There, sitting on the floor because chairs were too small for him, was the fighting Lion Rakkan. He wore a tiny pair of reading glasses and was writing in an equally tiny notebook. As far as his apparel went, he only wear a pair of shorts; in his own words, he was more comfortable without a shirt. Beside him was a rucksack that he kept his clothes in. Then, he looked up from his notebook, staring at the two as they entered. As his eyes met Trace, he set his glasses aside and gave a wide grin. "Tracy~ Long time no see!" He got up with a hop, throwing his arms wide. "Ar har har! Long time no see indeed!"

"Kankan!" Trace cheered as she jumped towards the Lion, the two of them meeting in a hug. Trace's thin body almost buried in the man's chest.

"You've gotten stronger, you have! You're gonna be as big as me soon enough!" Rakkan added, as the two of them parted, ruffling the Hyena's head; he tried to not mess up her prized mohawk too badly. "Yes, I remember when you were just a small pup, no bigger than a can of pop!"

"Yeah, I think I'm good. I'm fine with my current look." She said, flexing as well, demonstrating her own toned musculature. She didn't comment on the can of pop comment, she was only about 10 years younger than him. "Anyways, you were, uh… Looking for someone to help you put on a show? Give our cozy little rest stop a good show?"

"Correct!" Rakkan shouted, pounding his chest with two good hits. His eyes soon wandered over to Casper, with his back against the wall at the end of the room. The Sphynx, realizing he was smoking in the presence of someone he was a guest of, silently extinguished his cigarette in the palm of his hand. Seemingly not bothered by the intense burns. "Are you my opponent?" His tone wasn't exactly insulting, as he stared at the scrawny man in front of him. Although, it was clearly confused. "Si," Casper nodded, his composure not faltering in the slightest, a contrast to the man Rakkan fought just miles away. "You down?"

He hated to admit it, he didn't want to be rude, but Rakkan thought that is was a joke. The Sphynx looked like a swift breeze or a light pat on the back could send him flying across the room. While he thought about it, Trace moved to the side of the rail car, no idea where the situation could go from here. Slowly the Lion stepped over to the man that would be his opponent, and landed a strong hand on Casper's shoulder. Even as a friendly pat, the gesture nearly caused Casper's knees to buckle. The Lion let out another loud laugh, "Ar har har! If you're fine with it! I've said it many times, but I'll fight anyone with the brawn and the bravery for it! Except children…" Rakkan patted his stomach, tensing himself up, "Go ahead! Punch me! I want to see what I'm up against! Just be careful not to break your-"

With zero hestitation, Casper punched him. His fist sparked with a pink colored light, the light intensifying upon the moment of impact. What looked like just a light punch with minimal force behind it, caused Rakkan to stumble back with a surprised gasp. Trace scrunched herself up against the wall, not wanting to be bowled over by the 300-400 pound man, her eyes wide with surprise. Even Rakkan didn't look like he processed what just happened.

In mere seconds, the wrestler was flat on his back, confused.

Then, he immediately sat back up, with a wide grin on his face, not even remotely angry, "Ar har har! What a punch, what a punch! The egg is on my face, that's for sure!" With a single jump, he was back on his feet, causing the whole cart to rumble. "If that is what you got, then I accept your challenge! The people of this own are gonna love you, guaranteed! What do they call you, hairless byakko?"

"Casper," The Sphynx replied quietly, feeling more than a little bit proud. At this point, the path this was going to go was up in the air, whether to be rewarded or to regret this, "But, there is one thing I want from you, that I'm not uncertain you can do… Either way, will you be willing to hear my proposition?"

A man once said that there are two types of people who hunt Amalgamates. Those who say they are good at it and those who do it right. Cho kept to himself, preparing for the road ahead, holding true to his theory about the Amalgamate, his destination was solidified. Several objects lied in front of him. Handcrafted explosives of different strength and effects, knives for several different uses, medical salves, and even a compact, hand mounted crossbow. Fine tuning the crossbow, he kept telling himself that his next destination would be the last one before returning home.

But, as he packed his things, he realized a crowd was starting to form, people moving through the streets, making it to the center of Tracks; the center was once a railway turntable, allowing for a lot of open space to move around in. The Fox's ears perked up, listening to what it could be about. It at least had a positive tone, so it couldn't be a tragedy; after all, if it was a tragedy, it would likely involve his interference. Cho silently scolded himself for immediately assuming that. Picking up his stuff, keeping it close to his body, he made his way over to all the commotion. A heavily armed Fox, clad in a skin tight outfit, who made no attempt to hide any of the weaponry he was carrying. One would think that such a sight would draw a lot of unwanted attention, but today that wasn't the case.

As he finally beheld just what was causing all the commotion, Cho murmured to himself, "You got to be kidding me…" There, standing on the turntable, squaring up against each other, was a pair of Byakko of contrasting builds. One of them, the weird Sphynx that he met the day before, the only thing Cho remembered about him was that he was mildly knowledgeable about Xha. The other one being Rakkan, a Lion that Cho had met a few times in the past, with both of them being travelers, going from place to place, usually with a job in mind. "Of all the people to show up here… Hm…" Looking in the general direction of his destination, Cho sighed and found a comfortable place to watch the fight from, the top of a railcar. "I could spare a few minutes…"

Plus, whatever was about to happen had to be good. Someone was getting their ass kicked today and Cho was certain who it was going to be.

The Naked Cat, Casper vs The Wandering Fighter, Rakkan. The fight was about to begin.