Bizarre Realm Legend

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Chapter 6

The punch Alistair had taken to his jaw sent him flying into the chain link fence before his back bounced off it and he fell to the ground. His body hurt all over from blows and bruises given to him by his opponent, the pain of which made it hard for him to stand up. His forehead was drenched with sweat, most of his body matted with dust and he was bleeding in at least three different places underneath his clothes. He hurt so much it felt sore just to hold his arms up.

Al wiped his jaw of the blood before standing back up, getting back into his stance as his opponent walked up to him. The man was a gigantic figure, almost twice as tall as Al was, with blue robes draped across his body that served as light armor that made Al’s physical blows stronger. His rugged face looked down at Al from a distance.

“You’ve done well holding your own against me,” the Changeling of immense strength said. “You have a fighting style that is coming to fruition. When your instructor said he wanted me to test and refine your fighting styles I didn’t know you and your blond friend already had such good moves.”

Al tried not to let it show by gritting his teeth but he felt as though pain in his limbs made it hard to focus. It was only thanks to his stamina that had been broken into him over the past near-year he was able to stand without collapsing at this very second.

“I hope you’re strong enough for another few rounds because I’m not letting up,” Octavian said. “No matter how beaten you think you are you’re going to have to find it in you to continue fighting.”

Al leered at the large man in fear. There was no shadows anyway for him to go to as it was a very dry, sunny day, so he couldn’t give this man a surprise attack from an angle he couldn’t react to. As tired as Alistair apparently was the man gestured for Alistair to attack further.

“Come,” Octavian said. “Come at me.”

Al closed his fists, moving air around his closed hands to form a strong current that produced a whirling sound around each arm. He then manipulated the wind to push against his back, forcing him to run as the wind’s speed almost made him fly off the ground He gritted his teeth as he charged at Octavian who readied his hands to block his attack.

However, Al knew Octavian would do that and as reached the large man, he punched into the ground with his right hand, directly underneath at his feet. The whirlwind crashing into topsoil caused an explosion of wind that not only obscured Octavian’s vision but threw him backward. Octavian skidded to the ground, slowly rising from where he fell but not before Al sent the whirlwind around his fist at the giant. However, he merely deflected the small whirlwind with a hard punch.

“That wasn’t bad for someone of your experience,” he said. “But I hope you know that it’s still pretty predictable.”

Al sighed to himself he willed the wind around his body, but instead of pushing back against him to propel himself, he pushed it slightly towards the front, building a steady current he could will into existence when the time called for it as Octavian closed the distance between them.

He then proceeded to punch Alistair but, once he did, Al put his hands up to block his fist right before using the wind he’d drawn up to propel himself back just as the punch touch the palms of his hands. Al allowed the wind to propel him far enough so that it looked like Octavian’s attack had done damage before allowing to slide himself to slide to the ground, hurting his shoulder slightly. From there he laid as still as possible, not daring to make a move as Octavian walked over and looked at his unmoving body.

“Get up,” he said. “I told you that you would have to have as much stamina as possible. Fight.”

Al did not move at all, however, being so close to Octavian meant he was able to do things he otherwise wasn’t able to if his opponent was far away. He manipulated the wind around the giant’s ankles, gradually building up a good whirlwind as he lay there.

“Hmm, why I can’t I seem to my legs?” Octavian shouted out loud.

That’s when Al let rip the air current he had been building, sending Octavian flying with a swirling gust. Al sprang up, ignoring the significant amount of pain in his body as he ran up at the large man who was trying to stand up again, as Alistair sent another gust of wind at him to which he fell back. However, just as Al was close, Octavian then manipulated the moisture in the air to condense around Alistair’s legs, preventing him from moving as pools of water hung onto his feet. He tried to tug away but they pulled him down too much as they created a current.

“I didn’t think I’d have to be using any of my powers besides my strength,” he said. “But your dirty fighting has caused me to use my water manipulation.”

Octavian then condensed the water in both his palms as he blasted Al with small tidal waves. Al tried to manipulate the air to block his large splashes but the volume of water was far too forceful and slapped him hard as they pushed him to the ground. Al’s soaking wet body was pushed to the ground, his whole side hurting.

“You’ve done well,” Octavian said. “But I think we should call it quits for the day.”

“Agreed,” Alistair replied as he spat water out of his mouth.

“No!” Octavian boomed.

Alistair looked up in horror at the large man as he condensed more water into his hands to create a tidal wave.

“I told you that you will muster all the stamina you can in this fight,” he said. “I was not going to use anything but my mere muscle on you but since you used more than one of your Changeling powers, I will do the same.”

Octavian let loose the wave of water in his palm, drenching Al again as it smashed Al back into the ground. He did it a second time and water went down Alistair’s throat. Every time Al spat water from his mouth and took a breath he felt another cold, immense volume of liquid splashed into him. After a third he felt like he couldn’t breathe.

“Stop it!” Al screamed as he raised his head slightly. “Please stop-!”

Another quantity of water knocked the wind out of him and banged his head back into the ground.

“I will stop,” the giant replied. “Only once you are able to stand up. Then we can conclude our training.”

It’s no good. He thought to himself. Octavian isn’t going to give up anytime soon. With the intervals of the time it takes him to splash me again I can’t create a new gust of wind strong enough to deflect it. Breathing through this is my biggest problem. If I can only get enough air I may be able to do something. Time to get a little creative.

Al manipulated the air around his mouth to rush back down his throat. Then, once he felt he was full of oxygen, he forced out the carbon dioxide his lungs had left him before another wave of water crashed into him. However, Al kept doing this, forming a stable current that provided him with oxygen with as little involvement of his lungs as possible.

Now I won’t have trouble breathing. He thought as water crashed into him again. But I can’t do this…forever.

Alistair jumped his out of the way of the new volume of water, standing up and looking at Octavian while soaking wet, his clothes darkened, and using the small current of air he created to compensate for the lack of air he’d had.

Octavian snickered at him.

“Well done,” he said.

“Yeah,” Alistair said as he was bending on his knees to prevent from collapsing. “Now that was a tough sparring, so I guess I’ll-”

“Oh wait,” Octavian said. “We’re not done. I still need to fight you some more.”

“What?!” Alistair yelled. “But you said we’d be done if I could stand up again!”

“I lied,” Octavian said.

Alistair shook his head, disbelieving what he’d just heard.

“Learn from this,” Octavian said. “Don’t always trust what your opponent tells you. Fairness is usually only a ruse.”

“That…that,” Al stumbled over his words. “Is not fair. I can’t believe you.”

“Okay,” Octavian said. “The real reason is because after seeing you jump so quickly up it gave me the feeling you could do more if just given the right amount of pressure. Ready yourself.”

{}

Alistair was in the infirmary the next two and a half weeks, naked except for white underwear that was provided for him. He laid in the bed feeling woozy as though his head were spinning for days. Usually before sparring with someone he was required to do various exercises such as lifting heavy rocks beforehand. However, when Kelly, Hale and himself had arrived on the training grounds that morning Octavian was set to fight them as many stronger Changelings were.

He picked off Hale the easiest as he wasn’t much of a close distance fighter. Kelly, the best close-range fighter amongst the three of them, stood up against him the best before being pummeled into the ground. She wasn’t bad as she did the most damage to him. However, Kelly didn’t have invulnerability though so Al was able to withstand the longest against the giant.

Kelly and Hale had been put in separate rooms as Alistair laid there for the rest of the month so he never really got a chance to talk to them afterward.

The first day Alistair was able to leave he returned to the only place he liked on this entire Circle, the garden. Alistair waited for Keiko, hoping that she would show up but she never did. As much he outwardly hated her he never felt attachment to anyone else. He didn’t relate to Kelly all that much and she never talked to him as a result and Hale held too much of a grudge against him to look in his general direction. Keiko was the only person who seemed to be interested in Alistair enough to come up and speak to him.

I miss my home. Al thought to himself. I have nothing to look forward to here except the end of my training. I know I came here to serve the Circle I was raised in but I usually end up feeling miserable.

Alistair shook his head.

No. He said to himself. I got to stay here. It’s my debt I have to pay for having such a good life. After I leave this academy I’ll go home and my mother will tell me how proud she is of me. If my mother’s right and he’s not dead, he may turn up…Even if the Blue Sky Kingdom does things that aren’t…morally sound everyone does it. All the more reason they need people like me.

But they made you kill Winston. Al answered himself. They captured students who only wanted to leave and probably all of them were forced to die by someone they were familiar with. How can I serve a Kingdom that allows this to happen?

Because you owe it to your family and everyone who was kind to you back home. Alistair angrily justified. They need to be protected from outside threats and invaders. They need a military and you have to be that to them. It doesn’t matter what they did. Maybe your superiors know better than you and it was just that they deserve to die for abandoning their post.

Al wanted to slap himself for thinking that. That people deserve to die for such a thing? He felt inhumane for just thinking it.

Whatever the reason. Al told himself. If Keiko was lying or she was telling the truth…I can’t abandon my duty here. They said I was needed and I won’t let them down. They were too kind to me during my childhood…

{2 months later}

Al stood behind Kelly and Hale, trying not to cry at what he saw.

Four unnamed people in straight-jacket like restraints as they were held down by chains, bound and gagged with blindfolds. Alistair could make out enough that one there were two men and two women. Al noticed how they struggled against their bindings, their elbows and knees stretching the fabric with their necks stretching outward, as though they were gasping for air. They were adults so none of them possibly could have been students at the Academy.

Julian seemed to take note of Alistair’s fearful disposition before looking back at their prisoners.

“I want you to kill them,” Julian said.

Kelly and Hale seemed apprehensive about this as well, their heads bent down slightly and looking off to the side.

Something about how they’re bound. Alistair thought. About how they can’t see. Or hear. No one deserves to die this way.

“Um…what were they accused of?” Hale asked.

“We are entirely sure that everyone except the furthest one on the left are murderers,” he said. “And have killed more than one person. Remember, if you don’t, someone else will. Get used to death.”

Liar. Alistair thought to himself. Just like Winston never did anything wrong, neither did these people probably. For all we know they may have never laid a finger on anybody in their life and just be political prisoners if Keiko is a reliable source at all. Who’s lying, I really don’t know, but what I do know is this feels wrong.

Kelly shook her head before walking up to a prisoner.

“Let’s get this the fuck over with,” she said grimly.

“That’s the spirit,” Julian said solemnly.

Kelly walked up to man, putting her hands together to create a ball of bright light. Kelly had gotten better with her ki manipulation, focusing her body’s energy into what could be used as a long-range weapon. The ball grew bigger before exploding forward, enveloping both a man and a woman in the straight-jackets in a blue beam. Little remained but burnt remains.

Kelly walked away, barely being able to keep herself from sobbing before doing so in the corner.

“I hope you are happy,” she said to Julian before crying her eyes out.

“Two killers have been dealt with in a formal fashion,” her master said. “No shame in it. And to have improved so well in your manipulation of your body’s hidden power…you are superb fighter already Kelly.”

Then Hale went, vomiting before and after running a black spike through a woman chest. He fell to the ground trying not to cry as his hands became sticky in his own vomit.

“You’re next Alistair,” Julian replied.

Al, tears already wetting his face, had readied a whirlwind in his hand before throwing at the last prisoner. The small air current hit the wall like a miniature tornado wood, ripping up floor tiles and shredding parts of the wall. Al didn’t look at what remained of the man.

“Not bad Alistair,” Julian said. “Impersonal and yet so direct. I’m glad your accuracy has improved so much.”

Alistair wanted to run over and bash his head in and call him an arrogant, smug bastard. However, Al looked away from his master.

“Thank-you,” he said impersonally.

I hate you Julian. Alistair said. But I won’t abandon my duty.


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