A Lesson in Battle
Ravi darted to the left as his opponent, a very muscular green Skeith, came dashing forward. The red Kyrii had trained for months to achieve his position of undefeated glory, and he certainly would not lose it to a weakling such as this.
He darted forward, Sword of Skardsen in his hand. In a series of nearly impossible to follow moves, he disarmed the baffled Skeith, and easily ran his hit points down to zero.
“Maybe you should go pick a fight with someone you can handle. Looks like Punchbag Bob over there is open.” His opponent stood slowly, embarrassment obvious on his face. He did not even attempt to respond, just picked up his shattered frost cannon and walked away.
“Wow, Ravi! You defeated him in less than two minutes! You’re the best Battledomer in all of Neopia.” Karo stood at the edge of the arena, bouncing up and down in excitement. Ravi had first met the excitable baby Kougra while moving in to his new Tyrannian home. Ever since Karo had seen his first fight the tawny-haired youngster could be found sitting in the watching crowd every day.
“With skills like mine, Karo, a win as easy as that can hardly be considered a battle.”
“I hope I can be as good as you someday. I’ve been working on my skills, and I train every day.”
“Battling is about more than just how much you train. You must have great courage to be the kind of warrior that I am. You must not be afraid to face any enemy. Even the largest monsters will tremble in fear when they see a great warrior like me.”
“I bet you’re not afraid of anything, are you, Ravi?”
“Afraid? What is there for me to be afraid of? With my superior weapons and astounding strength, I have taken on the best challengers Neopia has to offer and they have not yet been able to claim a win over me.”
A blue Kougra wearing an oversized purple hat approached them, a scowl on her face. “Karo, I told you to be home an hour ago! You know we have to get to the market for food today, and I need to pick up some Step out Shoes for poor Tmar. He still won’t take one paw step outside of our front door, thanks to the Wheel of Misfortune. Come along, now.”
“Aww, sorry, Ravi. You know how my sister is. She never lets me have any fun.” Karo left with his sister, grumbling under his breath.
Ravi grinned and shook his head. He had once made the mistake of visiting Karo’s home, when Tmar had gotten into a giant jar of sugar doughnuts. Absolute chaos, as well as quite a few broken pieces of furniture, had been the result. He still could not understand how three Kougras could live together without knocking the walls around them to the ground.
His afternoon was filled with improving his strength. Often he had to train alone, as most of the other pupils of the Training School were of lower levels than he was.
As he was packing up his weapons and getting ready to go home, he overheard a conversation between two Korbats he had previously trained with.
“Have you heard about the Nimmo Ninja? She’s supposed to be amazing!”
“I heard she has a unique weapon set designed for each opponent. Even the Snowager didn’t stand a chance against that Nimmo.”
“I sure wouldn’t want to fight her.”
“Anyone with less than five thousand hit points ought to give her plenty of space. Even Ravi would find her a challenge.”
Ravi stood behind the door to the training room, waiting until the other two had left. He knew he needed more information about this mysterious new Nimmo. He would not let her threaten his status as top warrior.
Throughout the next week he talked to every other warrior he knew. Though many had heard of the Nimmo Ninja, none could tell him how to contact her. Ravi continued to fight any opponent who was willing to fight, but in the back of his mind the idea of an opponent he could not defeat chewed at him.
“What’s the matter with you, Ravi? You almost let that Chia smack you with his club. I havn’t seen anyone get that close to hitting you since the Meerca Henchmen tried that double attack.”
“It’s this Nimmo Ninja I keep hearing about. She’s supposed to be a great warrior like me, but I’ve still never seen her in battle. I don’t even know how to contact her.”
Karo’s smile quickly disappeared at the mention of the Nimmo Ninja. “I don’t think you want to fight her, Ravi. I’ve heard she doesn’t always fight fair. Besides, there is no way for you to contact her. She only talks to who she wants to talk to. There are plenty of other good fights to be had. Leave the Ninja to beat up Neopia’s monsters and stick to them.”
“What did I tell you about being a warrior, Karo? A warrior is fearless. Whatever tricks she may have, I know my tricks will be better. I’m confident that I can take her on, even if she doesn’t want to fight fair.”
Karo sighed. “I know you won’t change your mind. I just hope you know what you’re doing, Ravi. I never want to see you lose.”
“No worries, friend. If the Nimmo Ninja ever finds the courage to fight me, I’ll be ready.”
* * * * *
Going out to collect his weekly issue of the Neopian Times, Ravi noticed a note tucked between the first two pages. It was written on flowery pink paper, and the handwriting was loopy and elegant. The note read: “Meet me at the Battledome at 3 this afternoon. It was signed N.N.
Ravi could hardly wait for Karo to come over that day. He excitedly showed his friend the note. “And she wants to fight today, Karo! Can you believe it?
“It’s definitely one of her notes, Ravi. You should be careful what weapons you take along to fight her with.”
“I was hoping you could help me choose.”
In his excitement to handle Ravi’s weapons, Karo forgot just who it was that waited for the upcoming fight. The rest of the morning was spent looking through Ravi’s fine collection and choosing weapons that could easily drain even a ridiculous level of points fairly quickly.
Ravi entered the Battledome that afternoon feeling he could not be better prepared. He knew Karo waited in the stands, eager to cheer him on. He flexed his muscles, eager for his name to be called so he could enter the arena.
When the call came, he strode forward, head held high. From the stands he heard cheers. He knew he was popular with the locals, but it felt great to know they were supporting him. In the front row, Karo and his entire family stood holding a large paper sign on which the words “Ravi for the Win!” had been painted.
Ravi locked his gaze on the opposite gate as “The Nimmo Ninja” was announced to the crowd. An odd silence fell over the stands as she entered the arena. She was not what any of them had expected. She was a pink Nimmo wearing a fuzzy pink hat and a ninja outfit an even more blinding shade of pink. Her weapons were covered in a salmon colored blanket, impossible to see.
The opponents looked each other in the eye, neither looked away. Though she looked ridiculous, Ravi somehow sensed there was more to this Nimmo than there appeared to be.
“Ready! Set! Battle!”
Now was not the time to think, now was the time to act. Ravi sprang to the right, hurling a ghostkerbomb to the side of his opponent, guessing she would dart to his left. Because of her odd cover, he could not see the item she hurled until it exploded before his face. It was a Nimmo Apple Bomb.
Ravi shrank to the ground, doing his best to hold his breath against the stench of apples. The Nimmo Ninja came forward, now wearing an Apple Jelly Helmet. A club was in her right hand, a shield in her left. Both were also made of apple jelly. Ravi did his best to fend her off, but he could hardly see to strike with so many disgusting apple items surrounding him. Finally, with an excited cry, the Nimmo Ninja brought her club down for the final strike.
Ravi watched in shame as she moved forward to accept her trophy. She held it wide, to the cheers of the crowd. She then walked over, holding out a hand to help Ravi up.
“If you’d have frozen me in the first turn there’s a good chance my weapons would have never come into use. You’re a very good fighter, but I take advantage of any weakness. I look forward to fighting you again.”
The Ninja’s words proved true. Two weeks later, a newly morphed green Uni named Ravi would use her advice for a well-fought victory.