The Warmth of the Hearth

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The Ripper

“You finally give up Laisren? Good, makes things easier for me.” His eyes glow brightly, his fireballs crackling furiously at the palm of his hands. As he prepares to launch both, Luke slams the ground furiously with his right arm. A bright fiery flash occurs, blinding everything in the surrounding area. He staggers as he’s unable to see anything, firing both fireballs blindly.

As he regains his sight, he finds Luke in front of him, with a flaming arm cocked back for a punch. “Still have no idea who you are.” Luke throws a right hook, hitting his opponent and sending him tumbling a few feet away. Please stay down. Luke tries to move his left arm but is met with agonizing pain. He decides to worry about it later and checks the unconscious student. “You look really peaceful when you aren’t awake, I prefer you keep it that way.” As he limps away, he senses that something is wrong. He thinks as he moves, wondering what could be bothering him. In a moment, he realizes the cause, There’s no announcement!

He feels the ground shake intensely below him, almost knocking him off his feet. Luke looks back at his still opponent and focuses his senses. The yellow manna that once surrounded the unconscious student disappears at an alarming rate, replaced by what seemed to be dark purple manna. The manna forms a heavy mist that fills the entire forest and Luke feels the temperature drop. He holds on to a tree to steady himself, keeping his eyes on the body. The blonde student stands upright in an eerie motion, as if he just learned how to move. His head suddenly snaps to Luke, full black eyes now replacing what once was yellow. He grins at Luke while stroking his chin, sending chills down Luke’s spine.

This is dangerous. The student suddenly speaks, his voice horribly scratchy and distorted. “I thank you mage, you have given me the opportunity to come into this wretched world once again. This vessel was annoyingly resilient, you helped me subdue him.” He stretches his arms to the sky, accompanied with manic laughing that echoed throughout the entire arena. The student’s body was now filled with dark markings that crept on his neck and arms. “I am free! For millennia I have suffered darkness, now you shall all know true despair.” He looks back at Luke, his wide grin plastered over his face. “As for you mortal! I shall make sure to repay you for your help, by killing you so you may not feel the pain filth like you will come to know otherwise.”

In an instant, he disappears. Luke flinches, scanning the area for the unknown entity. He tries to take his fire out, but to no avail. All of his manna was used up in the previous encounter, meaning he had no way of defending himself now. A face immediately fills his vision, a wide smile that will forever be engraved into his memory. His vision blurs and he loses his balance. He looks down and sees a hand stuck inside his stomach, a purple mist surrounding the arm. “They call me Ripper, because I like to rip everyone apart!” Ripper thrusts his arm deeper into Luke, causing him to sputter blood all over the ground. The madman laughs, as he leans in towards Luke’s ears and whispers. “Give me a little smile, nobody wants to die sad!” He pulls his arm out, dripping and drenched in blood. Luke collapses and lays lifeless on the ground. Cold slowly creeps all over his body and he feels his heartbeat slowly waver. Darkness takes over his vision as he struggles to regulate his breathing. He sees the silhouette of the Ripper dancing around like a madman. Luke chokes, unable to continue breathing. He lies completely still; his heart has stopped beating. An announcement is heard over the arena, following Luke Laisren’s death. “Thirty-three Pixies remaining.”

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