He was of athletic build and taller than me and I knew this because of his tight skin black armor which revealed no skin at all which, unlike mine, clearly showed exposed skin in various places.
I moved aside and found my shield beneath me. Maybe by the automatic sense, I had out the shield out in front of me in order to absorb the impact.
Whether it worked or I did not but it most probably saved my life.
But my weapon which I had trained for so long to keep in my hand now lay out of reach on the beach-like sand. I knew I couldn’t reach even if I tried and so I prepared my shield for the worst.
Stuq now came up to me and his long halberd gleaming in the floodlight’s light. He seemed so infuriated that he did not even seem to notice my whip lying on the ground a few feet from him.
Somehow he had survived the electric glass and the fall and now was out to kill me for trying to end his life.
He now was right over me and I tried hard to scramble back, but the pain was too much.
He could have just swung and killed me right there but he seemed more to vent his anger out in hateful words towards me.
“I get it! You want to kill me! That’s the whole point of this stupid game, but I’m not angry about that.” he said throwing his arms out wide in anger. And that was the point I did not understand.
“Just tell me why? Huh? Why are you with these Voulderans? Why are you such a voule huh!?” he said and when I stammered to give an explanation he swung his halberd behind him and then waited few seconds for me to answer before he swung the weapon without showing any mercy to me.
I quickly swung my shield and the halberd met the shield with a loud clunk that echoed throughout the arena. Stuq had swung the halberd so hard that its metal tip had embedded itself into the wood of the shield.
He quickly used his leg to free the weapon from my shield and spoke again. “TELL ME!!” he shouted and his voice conveyed how livid he was, suddenly I was no longer scared of his weapon but Stuq himself and what his actions were going to be when he was so furious.
I again stammered and then spoke, the dread really showing out. “I…I have always been a Voulderan, what’s so…so..wrong with that?” I asked my anxiety levels rising as I expected another blow.
“What’s wrong with that huh?” he scoffed and I readied myself for another. “You speak like you know nothing…How dare you act like you don’t know anything about the Schism, huh? Voule!!”
And then came the second blow much more powerful and so mighty that the metal of his weapon actually appeared on the other side of my shield just an inch over where I was holding it. I knew now that my shield was compromised and that few more blows and that I was done for.
In the back of my head, I thought where Zeq was and whether he could magically appear and kill this maniac of a person, who seemed to have so much rage contained within him that even the elders who spat insults towards me seemed pale in comparison with him.
But Zeq did not appear and so I had to endure the torture of the deadly quiz, whose questions only confused me even more than I was.
Stuq spoke once more and he seemed on the verge of losing his bearings. “BOY! Tell me!! Why did you choose to be a Voulderan? WHY? You know what the Voulderans did during the Schism right? Yet you choose them? WHY!?”
At this point, I had already made up my mind and it was the last most desperate attempt I was going to do in order to capture the stupid, boneheaded mind of the leader, who I was more than a hundred percent sure was seated high above me watching me keenly behind the reflexive mirror.
“VOULDERAN FOREVER!!” I shouted at the top of my lungs thinking the reflective mirror somehow stopped voice from inside the arena being heard outside, but to my amazement, I heard a faint yet audible sound of my villagers shouting in unison and now it became apparent that they could indeed hear me.
But there was another thing too that became apparent the very second I spoke this line and that was if no one interrupted now, I was dead.