I was lead back to my room by two guards. After winning my first battle, my reward is to go right to my room. Honestly, all I wanted was to celebrate with Alec, but I haven’t seen him since I woke up. I wanted to punch him in the face and then hug him since I lived to fight another day. He had trained me impeccably well.
Before we reached my door, I debated whether or not to ask where he was but then thought against it. The magistrate had strict rules on the trainer’s relationship with their charges. If any feeling towards each other aroused, they would get a new trainer. That had happened once before when I was a small child.
The magistrate thought that Alec loved me more than just his charge and took him away from me. I was probably ten at the time. When someone new showed up at the training yard, I threw a full-on tantrum. I was so enraged that I don’t remember what happened next. I blacked out and woke up to Alec, holding me in a hug yelling at me to stop and pull myself together.
From then on, it was just Alec and me. No one dared to visit him or me, and we had to change to a different training yard since I destroyed the other one. Alec told me later that some of the magistrate’s assistants died that day, and I almost toppled the place. To keep me satisfied, Alec was allowed to continue training me, much to my relief. The magistrate has taken everything from me at a very young age, and they will not take him away too.
The guards opened my door, and I found Alec standing next to my bed, along with Elder Kakios and some others. My body froze in the doorway, refusing to enter. They never came to my room. Whatever is happening, is not good news.
“Gaia. We just wanted to congratulate you on winning the first game. Aura was a fine opponent for you, and we are pleased to see that the games kicked off so nicely.” Elder Kakios said with a sick grin. This man will be one of the first to die after I win.
“Thank you, Elder Kakios. I appreciate you coming by to congratulate me, but I must insist that I rest for the night. It was an exhausting fight out there as I am sure you saw.” I said as I made my way to the closet to change out of my dust-covered battle gear. From the corner of my eye, I can see Alec suppress a smile. I knew him all too well.
The elder nodded and then presented a box in his hand to me. It was small and tied in a blue silk ribbon. “Of course, then take this gift as a congratulation. We will be on our way. I hope you wear it in the next battle.”
Curiosity got the better of me, and I delicately retrieved the box from the elder’s hand. I opened it quickly so that they can all leave my room. Inside was a silver chained necklace with a star hanging from it. The star was small, and its points encased in a circle ring. It was cute, and I felt drawn to it for some reason. I wanted to put it on immediately but decided against it. He wants me to put this on in the battlefield?
That was a stupid idea. I am not having something around my neck, so someone can use it to kill me. I eyed the Elder suspiciously and closed the box before laying it on a table nearby. “Thank you, Elder Kakios and other magistrate elders, but I cannot possibly accept such a beautiful gift. Though I deeply appreciate it. Me winning the games will be gift enough.” I say in the sweetest voice I can muster.
The Elders never said a word when I finished. They eyed me suspiciously, and then Elder Kakios smiled at me. I can see the fakeness of it a mile away. “No, we must insist, dear. Wear it on your next battle; it is a good luck charm. Now we must be on our way, keep the necklace. It is yours now.”
With that, the Elders left the room, leaving Alec and me alone. With a smile, I strode over to him and punched the bastard right in the jaw. He looked taken aback for a moment until a grin plastered on his face. “I suppose I deserved that,” he said, holding his jaw.
“You didn’t have to punch me in the face to leave this room,” I said with my arms crossed. Alec only chuckled at me. “Yes, but they gave me no choice. When you didn’t show for you debriefing, they charged me to come to get you or else.” his tone changed to a serious one.
I stiffened at his statement. I knew what he meant by the ‘or else’ comment, and I couldn’t think about it. They would kill him or just simply take him away from me. I shuddered at the thought. “I am sorry, Alec, I didn’t know.”
He shook his head as he headed for the door. “Don’t be, how could you know? By the way, you did great out there. I have some critiques, but for now, go rest. Tomorrow will be another long day. We go back to training.”
My jaw drops when he says this. “No, I have the day off. A day of rest after I fight, so I’m taking it. We can strategize, but I will not train by any means.” I said sternly. He can try, but I earned one day off. Alec only laughed at my face.
“I was hoping you would forget, but okay, no training, but we will talk strategy against the people we saw today. I want to be sure you are ready.” Alec says sternly. He always does that. It’s like he remembers he is supposed to be serious after he jokes with me. It is unbelievable.
Alec leaves, and I do my cleaning routine. I was bathing to get all the grime and dirt off, changed my clothes into nothing because I would rather be naked. The floor of my room is dirt, and it’s comforting for me to lay there for hours completely naked.
I feel one with the earth this way, more like myself. If I had it my way, I would cocoon myself in it and never surface again.
I lay on the cold hard ground thinking about the other two competitors. Sylo and Muta. I shouldn’t remember their names, but it’s easier than calling them by their abilities.
Sylo is pretty straight forward. He will require a hand to hand combat. I won’t be able to plan my attacks since I didn’t see much fighting today, but I have faith in myself. I just don’t know how I would feel about killing him with my bare hands. He was a big man as well, so I just can’t end up on the ground.
The silver-haired girl, Muta, will be a challenge. She can probably shapeshift into anything, from insects to large mammals. Defeating her will take some thought. Muta showed too much for the first round. She seemed to like large predators to take people down.
I could probably make a platform so she can’t climb it unless she’s a bird. Of course, she can change into anything she wants. She could turn into a monkey to climb my rocks. I may have to end it quickly.
I started to feel tired. That fight took a lot out of me. I didn’t realize how tired I was until I finally got in my natural state.
Naked, lying on the floor.
I eventually got in my comfy little cot and cuddled with my pillow before I dreamed a dreamless dream.