They lied to us, we weren’t being recruited for his army, we were being put in prisons. They had thought of everything, they searched us for weaponry, they checked our magic, they put us in separate cells, each enchanted with mana draining spells. I soon noticed that we didn’t have a chance to get out, the worst part was that my father and Lucy had also come along.
It had been a week before I had a plan, I heard the guards outside saying that their supervisor was going to be checking in on all of the new prisoners. In the days before the man came through I began to seem as though I were going insane, babbling incoherent words, pacing back and forth, sitting in a corner only staring at the door. The day he came through I had another visitor, a small rat came by, as he observed me I began to cut apart and reconstruct the creature. The man smiled at me before continuing to the next cell. The very next day multiple guards came in to take me to the courtyard along with a selection of other prisoners.
“Here you will be evaluated for your skill, you will be supplied with weak versions of any weapon you request, in the moment you seem to have any ideas about using them against us, they will dissipate and you will be eliminated.” The same man who had visited us explained, he then moved us into a line, I was near the end. Some of the earlier people who were tested tried to attack the man, though exactly what he had described occurred, the first 3 of the 10 prisoners were killed immediately. The 4th was smarter, he simply spared with the man they sent out against him, though he quickly failed to match his opponent, the prisoner had his head chopped off by his opponent after his loss.
My turn came, I requested a spear, similar to the one I had when I faced the dragon, which I never retrieved from the fight. The same man who had been fighting the others, some had tied in the fight, four of the eight previous contenders had survived, the other half I have already described, now it was my turn. I stood in front of him, weapon ready, watching him, the large man was wearing only thickly padded clothing, not the most effective armor, he also held a large blade, dullened, he wasn’t any better off than us, he was a gladiator.
The man rushed at me, ready to strike, I avoided him parrying his attack, he was off balance. I quickly knocked him over, throwing his sword to the side and holding my spear to his nape. The supervisor gave the signal, and I did it. Crossing that line, the man fell to the floor, choking on his blood, a hole going straight through his throat.
The next person came in soon after, just as intimidating as the prior man, the masked giant came as my replacement walked onto the field. My successor had as much luck as my opponent. After this final fight, I and two others of the surviving five people were called over to the supervisor while the others were taken away, presumably back to their cells.
“I am pleased with your threes’ performances, though there's one more caveat to your survival.” The man began, “ You must kill each other now. I know, this isn’t what you expected, but only one of you can join our ranks, and we want to see how you compare to each other.” This infuriated one of the men with me.
“You bastard!” The man yelled, lunging at our captor, the blade he had retrieved for the fight, drawn. This man was large, quite intimidating, especially given the fact he had a large blade in hand, in stark contrast to the slender, average man he was opposing, who had no weapon, nor muscle as far as we could see under his light coat. This man merely dodged to the side of the strike, grabbing the man and looking him straight in the eyes, all he had to do was whisper in his ear and the behemoth stabbed himself through. Crumbling to the floor, drenched in his own blood he twitched once, and then stopped breathing.
“That smoothes out one thing, now it is a simple one versus one fight, you will be given full scale weapons, and you will be allowed to use your magics, I will inform you that we have specialists on standby and they will kill you quite quickly, along with draining all of your mana before you could notice they started.” He then backed away, leaving field where we’d fight “BEGIN” We heard ecco around us, and so we did.
The man I was fighting was a human, blonde, slightly darkened skill, minor muscle tone, around my height, and wielding a pair of large knifes. He rushed me, with the same look in his eyes as I had seen in the executioner, intent to kill. I began to avoid his quick, sure strokes, looking for the openings I knew everyone would leave. Soon finding it in his back strokes I began to block strikes, swerving to his back I began striking. Feeling his slow I pushed faster, preferring not to use mana until I had generated enough for a finishing blow. I was beginning to feel the same fatigue that he was, and I was becoming clumsy. I lost balance, missing a perry he slashed me hand, only stopping when he hit bone. I rushed back, he rushed forward, I narrowly avoided his assault now, my mana had almost regenerated enough. Now, I was feeling my arm, the pain searing, the metallic scent of my blood wafting through the air. I only then had the mana to finish it, letting out a pulse of energy he was stunned and knocked down, I rushed forward and finished him, I didn’t give it a second thought, I ran my spear straight through his heart. A quick squirt of blood signified his end, as he began to fall limp as though he were a marionette whose strings had just been cut. I had won, and the door the supervisor had left through opened back up.
“Well done” The man said as he came back out, “You are our newest recruit, my name is daniel, and you will be my first officer, welcome to the legion of gold.” the man finished.
“What does this entail for me?” I asked my new superior.
“Only this, you must wear this ring at all times, or feel the repercussions from the king's guards, and that you are now my soldier, and shall follow my orders.” A thinly built man suddenly appeared next to Daniel, the figure was cloaked in black, with a device over one eye, and a mask covering the rest of his face.“It shall be a pleasure working with you.” I greeted my new comrades.