I let go of the will to live as Daimon held me in a chokehold. I let darkness encapsulate me and welcomed death, happy that I will see Alec again. Then out of nowhere, Daimon let me go. Air filled my lungs as I started coughing. I was confused but relieved not to be dead.
Daimon stood above me, holding out his hand. My vision was blurry from the lack of oxygen, but I could tell that his eyes were back to their standard dark color. I hesitated for a minute, not trusting the gesture.
Being impatient, Daimon grabbed me and picked me up to embrace me in a tight hug. “I am so sorry, Gaia. I didn’t mean to hurt you. They enchanted me and my memory. Skewing it so that I see you as my enemy.” Daimon whispered in my hair.
Unshed tears fell down my face, shocked that he snapped out it. I hugged him back, happy to have my friend again. Even if he was new to my life, I was delighted to have someone that understood my circumstances.
“What do you think you are doing, Daimon? Kill her!” An elder yelled as he leaned over the balcony.
Daimon stood back and faced the elders with so much hate in his eyes; I thought the men sitting on the balcony would burst into flames.
“Let’s show them what it means to be buried alive. I know for some of the people here, it is their worst fear.” Daimon said with an evil smile as he looked at me. For once, my blood didn’t run cold, seeing his creepy smile.
I stepped forward, planting my feet squarely on the ground with my palms outstretched in front of me, facing down. I spread my ability to the confines of the arena, feeling every inch of life under the surface. I needed to break the warding and quickly, so I turned my head to Daimon.
“I am going to need your help; let’s liberate ourselves,” I said as the ground began to shake.
I pushed my ability to its breaking point, sending breaks in the ground directly to the invisible symbols that protected the people watching from above. While I broke the seals, Daimon spread his dark tendrils into the stands where the people spectated. I could feel more of the earth, and it was magnificent. I haven’t felt such power before, so much life waiting for my command. It felt like my whole world opened up to new possibilities.
The fear of Elder Kakios’ face was priceless as he and the other Elders ran into the magistrate building. I started to laugh, knowing that they think they are safe, but they only ran to their tomb, a final resting place. I wanted them to feel how it felt to die like the other contenders. Each one will die as they did.
Soon the walls that encased the arena began to crumble; the hallways that were an entrance to the Death Ring collapsed. It prevented guards from coming in and stopping us. Daimon’s nightmare’s covered the seating of the theater, and only screams echoed off it. After only a few minutes, all the warding in the arena shattered, letting me able to decimate the place into rubble. The tall wall quickly broke into small rocks, rolling into piles with bodies littered on top of them.
Daimon and I didn’t plan after this point, but I knew what we needed to do. “We need to find the elders and kill them all,” I said as I started to climb the rubble.
The walking nightmare grabbed my arm and pulled me away from the carnage. “No, we need to be stealthy, so we must dig to get to them. I know you can do it. Bury us and find where the Elders went. Even if we have to find them one by one, we will kill them all. I can sense their fear; they are somewhere, trapped in this tomb we created.”
A disturbing thought fluttered through my mind. Perhaps I should destroy the Elders in the same room Alec died. I suppose that would be poetic justice. As soon as I thought it, Daimon smiled, saying, “Yes, let’s do that. We will have to be quick. There are other magistrates on several regions that may come to aid this one.”
I nodded and calmed myself as I connected with the earth once again. After being enclosed in wardings all my life, I finally feel the purity of the world the way I was supposed to. It felt so right that I felt more anger towards the Elders for keeping this from me. I made the earth move and encapsulate us as we traveled under the arena to find the rest of the Elders.
I could feel their frantic footsteps through the vibrations, but Daimon knew where they were. He could feel their fears, and they were potent. He guided me in the right direction until he told me to stop.
“Right above us, I believe, is the magistrate courtroom. Several Elders are hunkering down in there since the warding is so strong. They believe they are safe.” Daimon with absolute disgust.
I burrowed above us and felt the warding of the room as we emerged from the earth. Five elders were cowering in the corner, and lucky for me, Elder Tristis is amongst them. I could not help the smile that formed on my face.
Daimon did not waste time spreading his black tendrils to cover the room. It seems they tried to barricade the door to keep us out but seemed to have forgotten I can control the earth and break wardings. The crying from the elders was music to my ears.
“Leave Elder Tristis to me. He and I have unfinished business.” I said as I walked to the huddle of frightened people.
“He is the one that gave the order to kill Alec, right?”
I didn’t answer, but I was sure Daimon knew the answer. Elder Tristis will die the same way Alec did. Of course, I did not have the weapon to recreate it.
“Daimon, perhaps they should feel how the other contestants died. Do you think you can make them feel that?”
I turned back to my new friend, and he gave me a toothy grin, “Of course,” he said, “who should they feel first?”
“Aura. I faced her in my first tournament, and I pummeled her to death.” I grabbed a woman that seemed to be an apprentice Elder. She screamed and struggled against my grip on her collar. “Perhaps she should feel that, but don’t kill her yet.”
I placed her in the center and demanded that she didn’t move. Then I grabbed another Elder and sat him next to the women. I did not know their names, but I have seen their faces the day Alec died.
“He will feel what it is like to have your faces punched in, and then your neck snapped like Menos.”
I continued to grab apprentices and Elders, placing them in a line until each represented someone that died in the Games.
“She will represent Galene, who was strangled to death. He will represent Lux and Helios, who were scared to death. He will be beaten to death like Sylo. This one will know what it feels like to have the life squeezed out like Phanokles. So on and so forth.”
“Now, for Elder Tristis, I have a special death for you. Since you’re the reason, my friend, my father died, you will be killed like him.”
One by one, Daimon killed the Elders and apprentices. I held onto Elder Tristis’s head and forced him to watch. The fear and sadness in his eye mimicked mine that day. Once everyone stopped breathing, I created a blade out of the wall. I turned to face the disgusting man with tears and snot dripping down his face and his squeaky voice begging to live.
“If you did not take Alec away from me, then my hatred would not have grown, and your death may not have come now. You created this moment. Revel in it while your blood hits the floor.”
I handed the rock blade to Daimon, and he immediately sliced Tristis’ throat, causing him to bleed out and fall to the floor. All that is left is to kill Elder Kakios for masquerading as a God and creating the Game of Life.
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