Glaring at his opponent, his breath coming in ragged heaves, he gazes at his golden sword, the legendary Ito Veqxon awarded to the sole person that can conquer the ten trials of the Qovonx. He connects to his Qigid. He feels a surge of strength through his body as he then lunges at his enemy.
He brings Ito Veqxon down hard upon his enemy’s left shoulder. His opponent blocks the attack, parrying him away. His opponent then brings a flaming fist directed towards his head. He ducks, then kicks out towards his opponent’s gut. He watches as his opponent doubles over. He then brings the pommel of Ito Veqxon to his opponent’s temple. His opponent collapses to the ground instantly. He then brings Ito Veqxon down hard upon his opponent’s chest. His eyes widen in shock as his opponent moves faster than a blink to catch the blade with his bare hands, flames dancing from his hands.
His opponent throws him away. He stumbles as he feels heat growing behind him. He watches as his opponent conjures a massive vortex of fire that is then sent rocketing through the air. He watches the vortex of fire licking for him. He acts quickly and throws air through the vortex, catching the air within the vortex, and siphoning the air away, effectively suffocating the fire into nonexistence.
He feels his opponent’s rage spike through his aura. He glares at his opponent who rockets another vortex of fire through the air. He uses ire to explode through the air, through the vortex, and then drive his blade through the chest of his opponent.
He watches as his opponent’s eyes widen in shock at the blade that protrudes from his chest. He then follows the attack with a Light Speed turn of drawing his other blade and plunging it directly next to Ito Veqxon.
He watches his opponent’s lights leave his eyes, his last breath exhausting the last of his sigo energy. He watches his opponent collapse. He grabs his weapons from the dead man’s chest.
He is just about to sheathe his weapons when he feels a spike in adrenaline and rage explode from behind him. He turns around to see a pyre of flame streaking towards him from the other side of the massive domed room.
The pyre of flame collides into him in the form of two blades forcing him to block quickly. He blocks, parries, and dodges each of the pyre of flame’s attacks. He watches as the pyre of flame slowly begins to die as the sigo energy of the younger man, the dead man’s son, begins to fade due to inexperience.
He gazes into the younger man’s eyes, pity welling inside. He can already sense the rage and vengeance building inside the young man’s aura. He moves quickly, faster than a blink, to disarm the young man and blow the young man into the far wall with a powerful air slash.
He watches as the young man slumps to the ground unconscious. He flashes away from the bloody domed room. He appears before a brilliant towering flame atop a crystal monument. He watches as the flame grows high, higher than it has in recent memory. He smiles widely.
He glances to his weapons, his golden Ito Veqxon and silver Rniti blade. He sees the drying crimson blood of his most recently dispatched opponent. He curses to himself. He connects to his flash, throws Ito Veqxon, and watches as the golden blade disappears forever.
Looking out at all of those gathered before him, those that he had befriended in the previous year, those that he had betrayed on more than multiple occasion, those he once called brothers, those who he cannot wait to be destroyed, he watches as Vaiqon and Vulcan approach him with Vulcan’s Daijok Blade to bestow upon him.
“Will you accept this new position that you so rightfully have earned?” Vulcan asks.
The man glares at Vaiqon and Vulcan alike. His dark eyes glare at the silver blade before him. He casts his glare directly into the auras of Vaiqon and Vulcan. The two Daijoks falter and wince as if they were slapped by the dark man.
The man grabs the silver blade, then throws it with sigo-enhanced force. All of those gathered before the stage gape following the trajectory of the supposed revered blade. The man chuckles darkly as he commits to memory the aghast expressions of the two Daijoks before him.
“I am afraid I do not accept this worthless position,” the dark man says. “In fact,” he then turns to those gathered, “none of you should seek this position.” The dark man turns back to face Vaiqon, the Daijok that believes he has become a father to the dark man.
The dark man utters with finality and foreboding, “Until we meet again, Vaiqon.”
Those gathered gasp audibly as the dark man disappears on the spot in a fog of dark smoke. Vaiqon and Vulcan both wear expressions of sorrow. They turn to those gathered and can only motion for them all to return to their bed chambers.
Vaiqon and Vulcan flash away from the stage and appear in the Chamber Rniti. Rhino and Shark, their other two fellow Daijoks appear soon after. Mugs and ale appear on a table in the center of the Chamber. Vaiqon, Vulcan, Rhino, and Shark all partake in draining a singular mug of the biting liquid that easily drowns their senses in a fog of ignorance.
“I know you have heard of my skill,” the dark man says to two young men kneeling before him. “I know you desire such skill yourself. I can feel the desire for my power in your weak auras.
“I can teach you how to strengthen your aura further than what even the Daijoks believe to be possible. I can teach you how to utilize your emotions to fuel your sigo to such a degree that even the mighty Vulcan will bow to your prowess.
“I can teach you how to move faster than any step of the Meditation Podium. I can teach you the skills needed to achieve victory no matter whom you face. I can teach you everything your puny imaginations can conjure.
“All you have to do is promise to me to be my dedicated servants,” the dark man concludes.
The two young men bow their heads in submission as they say in unison, “I do.”
Staring at the endless sky stretching out over the horizon, a boy just on the precipice of his twelfth year of life, leans on a scythe. He watches the clouds roaming past overhead, their unfettered glee mocking him as he feels chained to the crops that he must help his parents, minor agriculturists, harvest before the sun dips low over the horizon.
He knows the sun has just arisen forcing the sky to become a brilliant blue, but all he can see are the acres and acres of crops that are in need of harvesting. He sees his mother and father hard at work, their backs bent over the crops as the hack their way through the expanse of produce.
He sees many other sets of parents with their children bent over the crops as well. He sees the caravans that they rode in to arrive at the fields from the great city of Karacrross. He sees the caravan drivers smoking pipes, drinking ale, and making merriment.
He wishes he could accompany them, but knows he is far too young for such debauchery. He winces as if in pain. He suddenly sees himself wielding a blade of scarlet color flashing as bright as a moon.
He opens his eyes not realizing he closed them. He gazes out at the horizon, his anger forcing him to see red. He sees his parents working hard, sweat glistening on their brow. He curses to himself, the curse sounding ominous upon his tongue. He curses in his mind each and every time he attacks the crops with his scythe, his desire for something more exploding inside his mind.
Smiling inwardly at the crying child before him, he continues to command his friends to push the small child, forcing the child to ricochet off of each of the five-membered gang twice.
After having enough amusement at the expense of the small child, he commands the small child, “Leave, never return to this side of the city, if you know what is good for you.”
The small child sniffs trying to hide his remaining tears as he tears away from the dark alley, his bloodied shirt and shorts in tatters.
He watches the small child exit the small alley, his small alley. He feels his members of his gang watching him, waiting for their next command from their fearless leader.
He smiles from behind his scarf, the power he has craved since his humiliating defeat at the hands of someone far weaker than him finally realized in this bleak, but beautiful city of Dzrt.
He turns to his gang and says, “Let’s just have fun today.”
His gang hollers their excitement as they tear from the alleyway to wreak havoc upon the city with their childish pranks. He watches from just inside the alleyway, watching his gang commit immature acts of violence. He sees his closest friend, a solid Brick of a child on the precipice of adolescence, breaking citizens’ property with just his fist.
He smiles behind his scarf, power coating his tongue.
He runs up the hill, the fruit and bread he bought at the marketplace long forgotten. The smoke becomes stifling as he runs towards the source of the fire. He leads a group of people from the marketplace, all having buckets of water in their hands to extinguish the fire.
When the group arrives, he collapses to his knees, his home burned to smoking ashes, the fire long-since extinguished. He begins screaming. He screams till he tastes blood rupturing from his throat.
When a caring couple approaches him, speaking softly, “Come now, child, we’ll make you our son. We’ve never been able to have a son. We’ve always wanted a little boy.”
He merely throws away every attempt the caring couple makes to touch him, his eyes glued on the remains of his home. The caring couple glances at each other, frowns, and slowly walks away from the feral child still screaming at the remains of the smoking home.
He screams until rain begins to fall, forcing the smoking remains of the home to sizzle. His screams fade into nothingness as he finally rises to inspect the destruction of his home.
He sifts through the ashes, looking for anything that survived the fire. He calls out in desperation, “Mother! Father! Brother! Sister!”
The wind answers him as the rain begins to fall harder. He walks to the center of the remains of his home. His sandal steps on something. When he looks down, he sees his sister’s doll with dark burn marks on it.
He picks up the doll, cradling it in his arms. He feels something scratch him from the doll’s neck. He looks down to see a charred golden necklace that once hung from the mantle of the fireplace, a necklace that was never worn, was never taken from its resting place.
He sees the charred golden necklace with the charred golden Fox charm still recognizable. He sees the charred Fox become distorted as his tears begin to fall just as fast as the rain.
He drops to his knees, his sobs wracking his body, his life, destroyed.
She runs through the small house looking for any place to hide. She hears her father breaking furniture, punching walls, yelling loudly. She sees her mother motioning for her to hide in the secret compartment of the only closet in the small house.
She ducks inside just as her father storms into the kitchen. She hears her mother attempting to calm her father’s drunken rage. She hears flesh smacking flesh loudly. She bites the inside of her cheek to keep from crying out.
She hears a loud thump. She swallows her courage to glance through the slit in the closet door. She tastes bile in her mouth as she sees her drunken-raging father overtaking her mother without any regard to her mother’s safety.
She sees her mother forcefully slammed repeatedly, her head banging against the cabinet, blood beginning to seep from a shallow gash on the top of her head. She feels the desire to grab one of the knives that has been sent sprawling from her father’s raging swings.
Just as she summons her courage to act, she sees her father spit on her mother and turns towards the closet. She shrieks nearly imperceptibly, but knows her father heard the shallow noise.
She retreats back into the secret compartment her mother has constructed just for this reason. She makes herself into as tight a ball as she can. She hears her father’s raging tearing through the closet, his cursing frighteningly close to her.
She breathes a sigh of relief when she senses her father has retreated from the closet. She opens her eyes not realizing she closed them. She moves ever so subtly to glance out the closet door.
She screams as her father grabs her by her head, tearing her through the secret compartment’s hinged door. The door shatters, sending shards that cut her skin. Her father grabs her forearms and slams her onto the table. Her father holds her arms and body down as he pulls her dirty dress up.
She cries loudly as she feels her father approach between her legs. She sees her mother has turned towards her, most of her mother’s strength having left disappeared long ago to fight back. She feels as if her mother is trying to filter the last of her strength to her little girl.
She ceases her crying even as her father’s ramming forces her bare back to be scratched by the coarse wood of the table. Her mind explodes in fury and fire as her thoughts turn towards blood. She smiles sinisterly inwardly.
She says silently to herself, “Soon.”
Being dragged by his ear, he can only see his mother’s sandals as he is drug towards the house after pulling one of his infamous pranks. He thinks to himself, ‘But, I wasn’t the only one doing it!’ But he knows not to utter a word as his ear would only be pulled even more severely.
He recognizes the stones that transform from the common gray pebbles of the city of Karacrross streets to the polished black granite that surrounds the Karacrrossian Soldier Housing.
He curses silently to himself, though his mother pulls on his ear harder as he tries to pull away involuntarily. He cries out audibly, invoking yet another sharp tug on his already aching ear.
Soon, he hears his father’s voice booming just yards in front of him, “What did he do this time?”
His mother quickly relates his latest prank of placing manure on the wheel spokes of three vendors at the Central Market Ring. He hears his father groan. His mother finally releases his ear. He rubs his ear, attempting to soothe the throbbing the tugging induced.
He looks up at the mountain that comprises his father. He stands with an involuntary pout upon his lips.
His father’s voice booms yet again, “Suck that lip back in, boy. I can’t have my son acting so foolish. You must begin acting as you should, as an elite soldier’s son. I knew I should’ve had you training when you turned ten. No matter. On your next birthday, you will begin your soldier training to take my place.”
He listens to his father, but the only words that resound in his mind are, “...take my place.” He curses silently to himself as his opposite ear is grabbed by his father. He feels himself lifted slightly into the air.
He finds himself soaring through the air as he lands on a plush cotton sheet. He hears his bedroom door slammed and locked. He allows his lips to pout as tears begin to stream down his face.
“I’ll never follow in the footsteps of anyone. Ever,” he says to himself.