Oh no, the last one of these was posted in January! So sorry for being negligent towards this. Since the first draft is complete it feels already like a completed project – which is far from the case. We’re quite a way into this book now, so I hope to get it out as quickly as possible!
The story so far is that our characters have just got a tournament book giving detailed information on Maron, leading them to suspect that the tournament comity is on to their plans.
No chapter is perfect, if you notice any errors please let me know!
Maron was the first to return, which was normally the case, and she looked distraught.
“What’s wrong?” I asked her, she was beautiful, and I felt sick as I took delight in her crying pained face which was as visually striking and appealing as ever. I was sick.
“It’s this.” She gestured towards the book before sitting down leaning over me. For a moment she looked happy. “Are you better” she asked warmly.
“A bit” I said. Soon I would be able to walk. I turned to the page she was showing me, more concerned about what the problem was. It said, “Big Surprises” and there was a drawing of her right in the centre around other fighters.
I gulped, so this is what the problem was, the tournament organisers were onto her. It wasn’t likely that they would have made her be here normally. I hadn’t seen much proof in my bedridden state, but this made it clear enough. She was at risk of being caught, and by extension, so were we.
Maron was in too much danger. I made a promise to myself that whatever it takes I would keep her safe. And keeping her safe meant stopping her.
“This is terrible!” I said “Look, soon I’ll be able to walk and once that happens, I don’t want you to be involved in this. I think it’s too dangerous for you now that they have this picture of you for all the world to see.” I hated that this had happened, and I felt bad for feeling the need to stop her, but how could I lie down all day here and let the love of my life die without me? If all my injuries were Maron’s, then things would be much simpler. Though both were very undesirable.
“No Rick you can’t. Don’t use that spell again, it will make you a cripple for life” She said “If you do what I do… you won’t be coming back”
I could only sigh. There was no changing her mind “I love you Maron. I know I can’t stop you, but please whatever you do, don’t do anything stupid”
“Thank you Rick” she said “This is something we have to do for the kingdom, once it’s over we’ll laugh about it. I love you too”
We embraced each other. She was slim and cold at the touch. I loved the way her body felt next to mine, her skin was soft, and her love was overwhelming. Being with her was heaven. As we looked at each other, we both smiled.
Later Kil and Rob taking Maron away for training. Bored, as always, I had tried to get up for the third time, but nothing was working. I just wasn’t strong enough yet, but I was close. The next day I’ll do it, I will do it.
I picked up the match book and started reading.
But it was hard to get into. Bitter thoughts of home passed through my mind. To think that my old friends were sold as slaves all along, and I didn’t know about it. All the good memories of home had been taken away, taken by that scumbag Jak who tried to sell me. He was evil, and selling slaves wasn’t the only bad thing about him. The fact that he’d sell me and be my parents’ best friend the next day was infuriating beyond belief.
The initial pages which took up most of the book I was struggling to pay attention too were the matchups. The three of us had our matchups fairly spread out across the fighting period but we were all jammed in at the back this time. The three of us had a good two days to prepare before my match, which was first. Why was I always first? It was like I was the guinea pig for them to experiment and learn from. It would be my match and then both Kil and Maron’s the next day.
The most obviously good thing were the pictures since it was an easy reference to find out who were the ones in trouble, we could also tell who had died when the rest burned the tent down, not that I possibly could have known. It wasn’t until I saw my name in the matchups that I started to doubt the usefulness of the book. My picture, which I assume must have been drawn secretly was completely wrong and didn’t look like me at all. For the first thing the person had two eyes and not one. Then Maron’s picture was the same; completely different despite her image at the start of the book. These pictures were unreliable – only Kil’s was correct – and if two thirds of them were wrong then the book was difficult to trust. It was a shame, but was it worth the risk to try it anyway? No. I couldn’t risk a 2/3 chance that I would be killing an innocent person, I would have to take it to Rob to see what he thought of it.
I moved on to the big surprises page which had Maron and a few others. Contrasting everyone else Maron had a huge piece written about her.
Big Suprises – Maron Alpick!
Everyone out there thought that Bruce Clot was sure to win but we were shocked when he was brutally beaten by a woman of all people! It’s well known that you shouldn’t underestimate anyone who made it through the early rounds of the competition and we hope that this will be proof of that! Bruce didn’t even have the chance to underestimate as he was knocked out straight away!
Was it just beginners’ luck or is Maron just that good?
Maron is terrifying in combat and seems to have complete control of everything going on around her, stopping at nothing to get her victory! Initially it didn’t look so good for her, but at the last moment she was able to haul the six-foot-tall man of immense body weight over her onto the ground and be on top of him in an instant, threatening to break his arm if he didn’t surrender.
Bruce wasn’t prepared to go down without a fight! He wouldn’t surrender so Maron got through both arms and took a huge bite out of his back before the victory was declared to be hers. Should have known when to give up!
You really needed to be there to see it! It was the most brutal of blood baths on display in arena twenty-one!
The bite caused Bruce’s blood to leak from his body at a rapid rate, he’s not dead (yet) but medical professionals are still trying to save him from the blood loss and terrifying injuries he faced.
Interestingly enough Maron’s dislocation tactic has been spreading, initially with her friend Kil but now more and more people are using this tactic. It seems like an easy win as the fighter can progress relatively unscathed. But I warn you about using it – some know how to beat it!
If you are up against Maron then you’d better say your prayers because you’re in for a very, very difficult time. I’ve even heard some speculations as for her becoming the first queen of Sevren, wouldn’t that be interesting?
Good luck Maron, and more importantly; good luck to whoever has to fight her!
The queen of Sevren? It felt so off and impossible to imagine. But that idea was actually within reach. Maron being queen of Sevren, would that make me the king? Or would she ditch me for more power?
I looked for the next segment which was also the last. It said “favourites to win” and had a list of names who were the favourites with little quotes by their names which they presumably had said. They read “If I only know two things, the first thing is that I’M GOING TO WIN, AND THAT’S IT!”, “Well I’m going to win, I’m already thinking about my future plans for the kingdom.” They were all similar to this. Maron was also in this part of the book and the quote next to her was “I will break everyone in my way”
When did they get a chance to talk to her? There weren’t very many people when I had my fights so it was hard to imagine that the guy who wrote the article was actually watching her. Most likely the official had given his perspective of what had happened. A great quote might have been “Surrender or I’ll dislocate it!” As she had told me she said it and it sounded epic.
My request for a meeting was postponed until later. When I asked Maron during a break she claimed never to have given an interview at all.
The day was long, but finally it was time to talk in the tent.
“I’ve read the book, and it’s bad.” I began while they were all sat around me in the larger part of the tent. Technically we were in a circle but even so I felt like the leader, but maybe we all did.
“No it’s fine, it’s good!” Rob said, was he mad?
“More publicity is far from fine!” I responded, maybe he just hadn’t looked through it thoroughly enough. I could even see Kil and Maron nodding approval in my direction, Rob was the only one who didn’t know.
“Think of the bigger picture.” Rob said “The people we need to take down are the ones in the favourites to win category and not necessarily our matchups. The people in the favourites to win are the only people we need to worry about, but we can’t make it look suspicious. We’ll kill them secretly”
“Hold on a minute.” Kil interjected “How will killing these people help us win our fights? We won’t get to these guys if we don’t get rid of our opponents!”
“That won’t help us win. It’s going to look awful suspicious if we kill all the people we’re going to fight” Rob responded, in the circle I was facing the door of the tent, to my left was Maron, then Rob and Kil was on my other side. Rob switched from looking at the two of us to Kil. “We need to be smart about this. If we eliminate most of our strongest fighters in the right places then naturally Maron is going to win.”
I noticed that as we thought about it more in the day the idea of murder had gotten far too ingrained in our minds. That was the price of justice.
“As is said in the article Maron was able to take out one of the better fighters straight away without too much effort under my influence. We kill all the competition, especially the other ones who know my secrets of magic and then we’re sure to win. Nothing could go wrong because my spells wouldn’t let them go wrong.”
“Alright so what do we do?” I said eagerly “How do we kill them?” killing a large group of people was interesting to think about, I just didn’t know how we could get away with it.
“Who said we were going to kill them?” Rob replied, slightly taken a back. “Here let me do something to you Kil, you’re probably the most receptive to it. He spent the next 20 seconds talking to Kil closely, then, waving his hand in front of his face made him collapse.
“He’s asleep Rob said, and nothing will possibly wake him up, go on try.” I wasn’t sure how likely this was to be true so I slapped him on the face lightly then as hard as I could, he didn’t wake up. “Sure I guess it works.” I said to Rob “Try more.” He said. So, I did “Keep on doing it.” Rob said and I was probably too pleased to oblige. I grabbed his face and lifted his eyelids apart, so they were wide open and shouted into his face. There was no waking him up.
“So we put everyone to sleep?” I asked him.
“Yeah basically, a whole tournament ground of sleeping warriors, sounds good doesn’t it? But that’s not all, you’re also going to be sending them into sleep as well.”
“You’ll teach us the words?” I asked excitedly.
“No. I’ll give you a fluid blessed with my spell; it will do the exact same thing. Putting someone to a sleep like this is far too advanced for you.” This was a much better alternative to magic.
“Aren’t you going to wake Kil up?” Maron said, she had been staring intently and thinking the whole time, she was clearly concerned for his wellbeing.
“No, I won’t wake him up.” Rob said.
“WHAT?” I shouted at him showing my outrage.
“Just kidding.” Rob said laughing “but you do realise that if I wasn’t on your side Kil would have slept for days, this is going to be true for the other people and this is how they’ll feel. This is what we’re doing.” Rob woke him up much to my relief.
We conferred and finetuned our plan. To a point where we were confident, we would be able to do the task tomorrow. We were going to be smart about it. Not everyone had a fight to miss, and some people could be dealt with in later rounds.
It was now the time that I had been waiting for. The only time of the day I enjoyed. With my health recovering my time with Maron was better than ever and I longed for the day to be with her once I had recovered fully enough to do everything I wanted too. In the meantime, I guessed that I needed to enjoy it as best I could. Unfortunately, I finished quickly. It was too quick. And I lied there in a sweat next to a sleeping Maron feeling sorry for myself.
Thank you for reading another chapter.
Today I want to do something different and ask a question. How do you think this whole thing is going to end? I’m interested!