Life's a Game

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Part 12

My day of rest, once again, came and went to fast. I strategized till my head hurt yesterday and did some mediation to pass the time. I was ready for the guards to take me to the viewing room, but they were late.

For once, I am up early, and they are late. Then the Guards burst through my door, breathing heavy. They paused in the doorway to catch there breathes as I watched with an amused smile.

“Where’s the fire, boys?”

They straighten up and look at me with distaste. “One of the contestants tried to run. Said he refused to fight anymore and tried to get outside the magistrate. So we gave him what he wanted even though he won’t be able to enjoy it.” I sat frozen on my bed with an emotionless mask on so they don’t know what I am thinking.

“So, he is dead. Who was it, and what are the elders going to do about the games?” I asked slowly. I didn’t want them to think that I cared.

“The elder will announce at the Games now come along.” One of the guards came up and grabbed my arm to haul me out of the room. They roughly guided me to my private viewing room, acting like I would run away at any moment.

I am not that stupid.

As I was practically being dragged down hallways, I tried to determine who could have tried to run. Now there were only a few men left in the competition. The options are Daimon, Metis, Sylo, and Helios. I had a hard time believing Daimon would try to escape. He seemed to love killing others too much, and he could possibly win the whole thing.

Same thing with Sylo, he is so close to winning, I couldn’t imagine him running away. So that left Helios who controlled fire and Metis the mind reader. If he is who I have been talking to, then the only logical explanation is Helios.

I sat down in my chair, waiting for the elders to make the announcement. I should break the warding in the room as the mystery man wanted me too, but I didn’t want to risk it. They already killed one contestant, so the magistrate wouldn’t hesitate to destroy me. I wonder what this stranger would do once he figures it out.

Then I saw Elder Kakios. He was dressed in his white robes, but today he decided to wear his golden halo, placed perfectly on his head. He looked like royalty, which is the closest thing the magistrate had to a king.

“Good afternoon, I am sad to inform everyone that one of our contestants tried to escape before their battle, and excessive force was used to make sure our guards are safe. Today, Metis and Galene were supposed to battle, but Metis forfeit himself, so Galene, our master of water in the Game of Life, is the winner of our first round for the day.”

He paused as the crowd booed in annoyance. They were disappointed that they couldn’t watch someone be ripped apart or drowned with magic water. It is disturbing and disgusting that these people are so heartless.

“I know, I know. We are all disappointed in this turn of events, but we do have one last battle for the second round, and I believe it is going to be a good one.” Elder Kakios says as he gestures to the right of the arena. “Over here we have Helios, his ability to conjure fire and manipulate it for his own benefit. It is said that it doesn’t even burn him. Then over there, we have our crowd favorite, Daimon, the living nightmare. Where your darkest phobias come to life. When I say start, we will begin with the final battle of the second round. In 3…. 2…. 1….. START!”

With that, Helios began to throw fireballs at Daimon. He had the same strategy as me. Not giving him time to snap his fingers to elicit the nightmares. Daimon was dodging them effortlessly. As he dodged the fireballs, dark tendrils started to seep out of him and grow along the floor. It covered the arena in a perfect circle around Daimon. His arms are spread out, as the darkness reaches his opponent. Helios begins to scream as he brings fire up his limbs in defense.

It covers his whole body, and now he was a walking torch. He was trying to burn the dark tendrils, but it was useless. Daimon distributed his dark tendrils to the edge of the arena, crawling up the walls. He didn’t move from his spot as he willed the darkness to spread further. Helios was now freaking out. He tried to burn the arena and broadened his flame out like Daimon, but his darkness blacks out the light, swallowing the boy whole.

My window is now blacked out. I couldn’t see in the arena anymore except a dim light by Helios. His screams were echoing off the walls. Telling everyone that he was still alive. Then suddenly, a hand pressed firmly on my glass window, causing a loud thud and making me nearly jump out of my chair.

I quickly stood in a defensive stance watching as a face emerged from the darkness into my viewing window. From the pale skin and dark hair, I instantly recognized Daimon. He tilted his head to the side like he was curious. I knew he couldn’t actually see me, and I figured he was using his power to intimidate the other competitors before we go into the arena with him. A creepy smile spread across his lips as he began to move his finger in the window. I watched as terror spread through my veins as he wrote words on the glass with his dark mist.

“Break the warding.”

My breathing began to falter. How on this green earth does he know I can do that? I shook my head even though I know he couldn’t see me. I also know he couldn’t hear me, so there is no point in saying my opinion. His smile disappeared, and he hit the glass hard. Almost cracking it. I was afraid it would break, but it was meant to handle many impacts without breaking.

He begins the write with his dark mist again. I could see the anger on his face as he flicks his wrist. A growl is uttered deep in his throat, making me even more terrified. Once he is done, I feel his eyes bore deep into my soul.

“I’m the one you spoke to, so break the warding!”

I couldn’t believe it. I never thought it would be Daimon that was talking to me. How is this possible? I didn’t know how to break the warding in the room without making it noticeable. I sighed and shook my head. I meekly answered, “No, I can’t. They will kill me.”

His evil smile spread across his face, and I thought I heard a soft chuckle over the constant screams of Helios in the background. My breathing stilled as he hit the window again. It started to crack slightly from the pressure. I gasped at the sight. He was breaking the warding from the other side.

My eyes widen as he hits the glass again. The warding was weakening, even more, I could feel the fear increase in the room as he keeps pounding on the glass. “What are you doing? Are you trying to get me killed!” I yelled in my mind.

He tilted his head to the side as he listened to me. Then I heard his voice, “Oh sweetheart, you are too valuable to kill yet. I told you that I need you, but it seems you’re too afraid. I can feel it, it’s so tangible.”

I almost collapsed when I heard his deep, husky voice. The familiarity of it is the same as the voice that speaks to me in my head. He wrote the truth, he was the one that spoke to me in the magistrate’s council chambers.

“It was you. How did you do that? I thought only Metis had that power.” I said as I swayed back and forth anxiously, I couldn’t control myself or my actions. I was always good at being in control, but right now, panic is all I felt. His lips never moved, he was talking in my head. It was strange, he seemed to be controlling my actions. I think he was using his ability on me.

Daimon chuckled before he spoke again, “Sorry, Gaia, my power must be seeping into the room. You will be safe from me, for now. You are very powerful, and we can destroy this government from the inside, but only if you follow my lead. I need to be quick because Helios won’t last much longer, but I wanted to make a proposition with you. When you and I are in the arena, we will invoke the couple’s rule. Marry me, and we will destroy this world together. You don’t have to answer now, think about it and I will talk to you again after the third round of the games.” Then he ducked out back into the dark arena. Helios was only whimpering at this time until I heard a gut curdling scream in the shadows.

“Why me?” I muttered as I watched him slip away.

The dark arena started to lighten up again. The darkness that encased the field by Daimon slowly dissipated like a foggy mist. Once it was clear, I see Daimon standing over his opponent’s body. He looked up at the elders, nodding his head before turning back towards the door he entered through. As he walked, he turned back again as he did during his first round of the games. We made eye contact, and I could see a stupid smirk on his face as he walked away.

Once he is through the door, I turn my attention to Helios. I don’t know what happened to him, but he didn’t look like himself any longer. He laid in his own blood that was leaking from his ears, eyes, and nose. His eyes were bloodshot, and bruises covered his face like Daimon was beating him. Which I knew wasn’t the case, so maybe Helios did that to himself. I guess we will never know unless I ask Daimon.

The crowd had been cheering nonstop when the battle was over. I guess they really liked it. I sat in my seat again, waiting for the guards to open the door. Sitting in my chair, looking at my window that was cracked now, I realized that Daimon could not be stopped. The only person that could possibly beat Daimon is Sylo since he takes away abilities. We haven’t seen Daimon fight quite yet, so maybe it will be an easy win for Sylo, but I had a feeling that would not be the case.

The guards came and took me to my bedroom. I was not going to sleep well tonight.

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